A couple of weeks ago, our children surprised my husband for his birthday with an evening in Nashville to watch the Harlem Globetrotters. This was a pretty big deal to Glenn because of nostalgic childhood memories of watching the Globetrotters. He was totally surprised when we stopped at an antiques mall on the way there, rounded a corner in the middle of the huge warehouse store and there stood Ben and Hannah, statue-like and garbed in hats and props from the booth where they were standing. Very fun.
We shopped for a while and I found amazing deals on a child’s Christmas quilt, the sweetest little Madame Alexander baby doll, and a beautiful crib sheet. I have, through the years, amazed myself with a strong and strange propensity to shop for baby things (shower gifts, children in the congregation and one-day grandchildren), even though there hasn’t been a single baby in our family for many years. I guess it’s nostalgia that makes me love Victorian children’s books, smocked and French hand-sewn baby dresses and wooden toys. I think Glenn and I are hopeless reminiscent sentimentalists.
It was a fun antique romp and we were basking in the pleasure of being with our kids, talking about their preaching works, Caleb’s graduate work (that’s almost done!) and the fun times we’d shared over the holidays. Little did I know that every fun thing about this birthday meeting was about to be totally eclipsed.
It was a quiet restaurant to which the kids directed us. Seated at a round table right in the middle of the restaurant, we ordered gourmet Bison burgers and then the kids had gifts for their Dad. Suddenly, when he unwrapped this, it was the moment of eclipse:
In everything else that we were eating, doing, talking about, looking forward to, we suddenly lost interest. What birthday? What hamburger? Globetrotters? Who cares about them? We looked at each other and just exclaimed, “We are going to be grandparents!”
All three kids quickly corrected us: “You ALREADY ARE grandparents!”
And so we are. There is a baby right now in Louisville, Kentucky that is traveling around in the safest of all carriages. I know she/he belongs to Ben and Hannah, but can I just call that baby “my baby”? Just humor me here. The gender of my baby has been decided. Heart is beating. Eye-color, skin tone, hair texture and color, all genetic characteristics already determined. Praise God!
Some even more important things have already been determined as well. Genetic traits are fun to ponder, but they are not nearly as important as environmental influences. The environment in which my baby is going to grow up has already been determined as well. Her mother is a faithful Christian. His daddy is a gospel preacher who lives the truths he teaches. Her parents have family Bible time every night. They choose entertainment activities very carefully. They pray together before each meal and lots of times in between. They think of the needs of others. They offer hospitality. They revere the name of God. I’m glad and oh-so-thankful for this spiritual make-up of my baby’s future. So much was determined so long ago when both of my baby’s parents were baptized into Christ and took on the characteristics of Jesus, the strongest traits they will pass along to my baby.
I have often humored grandparents by oohing and ahh-ing over stacks of pictures they just “happen to have” in their wallets, by laughing hysterically when they tell me the latest antics or the cute things their babies have said, or by picking up the wee ones and bragging about how beautiful and smart they are. But I must confess that I never really thought I could be so silly as to think my grandchild was the prettiest or the smartest one on the planet…until now. Now I know it’s true. Only Brian and Beth Giselbach will have a grandchild as beautiful and intelligent as ours. And I bet I am the ONLY grandmother who just happened to have a baby gift right there on the spot at the very moment the baby’s upcoming birth was announced. Glenn said I was pretty efficient. He’s right. I snapped into grandmother mode with no trouble at all.
So we have hung the plaque and they have tucked away that pretty little crib sheet with the tiny bears and hearts. September! Hurry up, September!