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Waiting is the Hardest Part

February 22, 2015

Cat in front of monitorIts seems these days I’m always waiting for something – the kettle to boil, the toast to pop up, the cat to lie down in front of the monitor so I can see what I’ve just typed. I wait in line at the grocery story, the post office, the gas station. I wait for the mail to arrive, the garbage to be picked up, the car to warm up. I wait for emails or phone calls or visits from ‘the kids’. I wait at traffic lights, railway crossings, and behind school buses. I wait for the snow to stop falling, the sun to shine, the temperature to inch upwards. Waiting, waiting, waiting …

According to various online sources, the average person spends nearly an hour a day (or about 4% of their time) waiting. That’s a lot of ‘wasted’ time, but it’s probably (mostly) unavoidable. However, since I’m not a particularly patient person (just ask my husband 🙂 ), I generally HATE waiting.

First Born

Son #1 (FINALLY!) July 1981

I waited nearly nine years (after getting married the first time) before I had my first child (partly because I married very young – that was one of the things I DIDN’T wait to do!)  And then the baby decided he was going to keep me waiting even longer for his arrival. When I’d gone a full week past my due date, the doctor sent me (on a Friday afternoon) to an obstetrician who, after a brief examination, told me, “This baby will be here before the weekend is over. If not, give me call on Monday.” On Monday, I was calling her office to report, “No baby yet.”  She had me admitted to the hospital later that day and labour was induced mid-afternoon; twelve hours later the contractions stopped. They let me sleep for a few hours, but at 7:30 the next morning, things were started up again. Another twelve hours passed and – despite the best efforts of my own doctor, a now-different obstetrician, and various other members of the labour and delivery staff – the baby had still not presented himself to the world. It took two more hours and an emergency c-section for him to finally arrive (it turns out he’d gotten himself sort of jammed sideways in the birth canal). Fortunately – even though he had some breathing issues because of the length of time the whole process took, and had to spend the first few days of his life in an incubator – everything turned out okay.

Congrats CardFast forward 33 years. On my son’s birthday last July, after the presents were opened but before we went out to dinner, he handed me a ‘greeting card’ style envelope. Curious about why I was getting a card on HIS birthday (but thinking maybe it was some sort of expression of appreciation for having brought him into the world all those years ago) I opened it and read, “One of life’s happiest secrets is just how much family our hearts can hold”. My first thought was that he and his long time girlfriend were getting married; then I opened the card and saw the words, “’You have a new little someone in the family! There’s a new leaf on your family tree – a new addition to your circle of love.” Clipped to the other side of the card was a fuzzy black and white photo. It took a few minutes for it to sink in. My eyes moved down to my son’s handwriting at the bottom of the card – and I saw the words I suppose I’d been waiting for years to see/hear: “You’re going to be grandparents”.

My mom with my first born

My mom (and dad) with my son (1981)

My mother became a grandmother when she was 42 years old (only 2 years after she became a mother for the fifth [and last] time; there was a significant age difference between my eldest brother and my younger one). When she was my age, she had 7 grandchildren (she had 5 more, plus 9 great-grandchildren by the time she passed away in 2012); when I was in my 40s she would often remind me, “When I was your age, I’d been a grandmother for years” (even though my boys were only in their late teens/early 20s). I would reassure her that I most certainly hoped to be a grandmother ‘someday’ – and I absolutely, positively meant it!

And now that dream was going to be a reality. Only I was going to have to wait another six and a half months!

Bunny for baby

A bunny for the baby

During that time, it often felt like the whole process was taking far too long; at other times, it felt like time was flying past. I could see the changes in my daughter-in-law’s body (despite the fact that she and my son have never ‘formalized’ their partnership with a ceremony and a piece of paper, I think of her that way) each time she and my son visited (they live about an hour’s drive away), and I got periodic updates on ultrasounds and comments from the midwife about the baby’s progress.  At Christmas there were several teeny-tiny outfits and blankets and other precious little things under the tree, and the talk inevitably turned to babies and the wonders of the whole child bearing (and rearing) process. The waiting was almost over.

The baby’s official due date was February 3. The last week of January was tense. Every time the phone rang, I jumped. Email updates were exchanged as we all waited. But, like her father (multiple ultrasounds had confirmed it was a girl), the baby simply refused to arrive on time, or quickly. And so we waited. Ten days past her due date, my daughter-in-law went into the hospital to be induced. Nearly eighteen (sleepless) hours later, the obstetrician suggested a c-section and it was decided that that was the best course of action. As it turned out, the baby had positioned herself in the birth canal in much the same way her father had 33 ½ years earlier!  Like father, like daughter!  Happily, however, she showed no ill effects from her the length of time it took for her to make her grand entrance into the world, and I’m thrilled to announce that my granddaughter, Madeleine Scarlett Kathleen, arrived at 6:25 a.m. on February 14, 2015 (‘Kathleen’ was added to her name when my son realized what day it was – Valentine’s Day was also my mother’s birthday; her name was Kathleen. We all agree that she was watching over things that morning!)

New Grandmother (Feb 2015)

It takes only a few minutes for the kettle to boil, the toast to pop, the car to warm up, the line up in the store to slowly inch forward. It can take hours for the mail to arrive or the doctor to ‘see you now’. I suspect it will be days or weeks before the snow subsides and the temperature rises. It took nine months (after years of waiting) for my first grandchild to arrive. But it was definitely worth the wait. In fact, it’s the most rewarding experience I’ve had yet here on … the other side of 55.



  1. April 23, 2015 7:32 am

    Okay, Grandma. You’ve had time to savor your new role for awhile. Now get back to writing! Congratulations, by the way!

    • April 23, 2015 8:54 am

      Thanks. I keep starting posts and not finishing them. Maybe now that spring is (almost) here I can get back into the groove.

  2. March 9, 2015 6:18 pm

    Cliche and yet true. Good things come to those who wait… and wait… and wait! Lovely post. Following for more goodness!

  3. February 27, 2015 6:26 pm

    I am so-o-o happy for you. As a grandmother of ten (ages 25 down to 6 months), I know what’s ahead for you….pure unconditional love between you and her.. Congratulations!

    • February 27, 2015 7:08 pm

      Oh my goodness – 10 grandchildren! You must be so full of love and kindness. I’m just getting used to the idea of being a grandmother but I expect to take full advantage of it and spoil her rotten! She’s absolutely perfect and precious.

  4. February 23, 2015 10:36 am

    She’s beautiful and precious! And oh, what a lovely and meaningful name she owns. Congratulations, Margo, from one grandma who also isn’t the most patient of waiters to another. Our grand-girls were definitely worth the wait!! ❤

    • February 23, 2015 10:54 am

      I cannot think of anything I’d rather wait for (although it seemed excruciating at the time)! Now that they’re here, though, we can get on with spoiling them! 🙂

  5. yvonne harris permalink
    February 23, 2015 7:28 am

    Congrats Margo! Enjoy!

    • March 2, 2015 11:34 am

      Thanks Yvonne. I never thought I’d be old enough to be a grandmother but I guess it catches up to us eventually! Hope you and Rick and the boys are well.

  6. February 22, 2015 9:54 pm

    F.a.n.t.a.s.t.i.c. name. Babies are always fantastic and make us forget about everything else but them. Wonderful to see the world again, through THEIR eyes. A good way to keep us young. ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ <33 ❤

  7. Sharon permalink
    February 22, 2015 8:27 pm

    Thanks a lot for making me cry, Grandma Sis.

  8. February 22, 2015 2:14 pm

    Fabulous name… Madeleine Scarlett Kathleen – I may use that for the heroine of my next novel! Congratulations!

    • February 22, 2015 2:18 pm

      Thank you! I love the fact that they went with a rather ‘old fashioned’, very feminine name. I couldn’t be more thrilled!

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