It’s almost August. Where has this year gone? August 31 is my one and only grandchild’s birthday. He is an only child. My grandmother seems to have set a precedent for that with her being an “only,” my dad being an “only” and me being an “only.”

I broke the spell by having three boys. Cripes, did I get a lecture about that. I was born back in the days when a woman in labor chewed on a leather strap and begged the doctor for morphine or a derivative which he gave very sparingly because it would stop the labor. Meanwhile she called her husband names that even he did not know existed. Sort of started the trend of men trying to get out of the delivery room. That is, ’till the better sex caught on.

Now it’s back to normal. The mod woman takes a stand … “If I’m going to suffer, you are going to be part of every twitch, every rip, every tear, so there!”

Childbirth is a normal physiological event, and both my dad and me were born at home. However, since the advent of universal hospitalization, for the majority of women childbirth has been transformed into a medical event where labor is processed, monitored and controlled by the medical profession from beginning to end.

The pain that my grandmother and my mother went through with difficult home deliveries added to a long nine months of blowing groceries all over the lawn and feeding the fishes with technicolor yuk five times a day, they were put off with the whole procreation bit once they dislodged the cause of all their misery and pain.

When I had my first son I thought the same thing. Whew, done with that. But then, in a couple of months— guess what. I was pretty sure Dad had shot the darned spindly-legged stork. But no-o-o. He was back and it wasn’t pretty.

My dad sat me down and boldly broached the age-old question, “Do you even know WHAT CAUSES BABIES? Are you crazy?” 

“Well,” I said trying to lighten the mood, “You know I never wash our underwear together. I thought that would take care of everything.”

His reaction was NOT what I was aiming for and the atmosphere was not lightened. I talked him out of shooting my husband while my mother hid the gun.

Of course — you know it - those two babies became the reason the grandparents and great grandparents got up in the mornings for the rest of their lives. They were in love with the little wiggly, poopy, squirmy, smelly miniature people.

Just goes to show that there’s a scheme, a plan, a reason for everything we go through. A trial can become a blessing beyond measure. 

We concentrated on raising our little blessings for several years. Then, wouldn’t you know that same freaking stork showed up again when the two brothers were reaching teenage years, here comes another bun in the oven.

I was older, more mature and took it in stride. Good thing I did ‘cause this baby turned out to be a major blessing. What in the world would I do without him and the family he has built because he is the man he is.

So, I have only one grandchild. But this one is here because of a Grand Plan. He was a miracle baby. 

Well, I’m still a mother, but I’m also a Grand! Now, that so grand. I am a grand-mére (French), a babba (Yiddish), a nonna (Italian). Yeah, I’m a granny. 

No, I don’t spoil him. I never sneak him candy when his parents aren’t looking. I never give him gifts “just because.” I never let him get by with things his parents won’t let him get away with.

(Leave me alone, I’ve already asked forgiveness for lying).

 DALE LILLY is lifestyles editor and can be contacted at lifestyles@desototimes.com.

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