Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Happy Birthday, Caroline!

Five years ago today we were all sitting in a hospital room while our daughter Rachel labored to give birth. The decision was made to go for C-section after all other options (and Rachel!) were exhausted, so Ed and I were full of anxiety over the surgery as well as excited over the birth of our first grandchild - and up to the actual birth, none of us knew the baby’s gender.

We alternated our time between the nurses’ station and the patient room, waiting for word. Finally we heard a loud, lusty cry, and in just a few minutes, the midwife, who had stayed to assist in the surgery, brought a precious bundle to the room. I learned we had a girl - Caroline Alice - and I fell in love with her the moment I saw her. I cried when the midwife gave her to me. I was so overcome, I’m surprised I didn’t drop Caroline right on the floor. The whole experience was unbelievable. It seemed like just yesterday that I was having my own C-section, giving birth to my firstborn, Rachel (whose gender we also were unaware of until the moment of arrival; we like surprises in this family, I guess!)

Well, it wasn’t long before Caroline discovered her first book, and the rest is history. I have 9430 photographs on my computer with Caroline in them, the majority of them, I think, showing her with a book in her hands. She’s graduated to chapter books, of course, and has been reading for a long time, in spite of the fact she’s only just 5 years old today and will start kindergarten in the fall.

We’ve watched Caroline grow into a lovely little lady, going from shy and introverted to outgoing and energetic. Just as on May 6, 2003, I was venturing into the unknown about what being a grandmother entailed, today we still are heading into the unknown. What will Caroline be like as she grows up? What new activities will interest her? What things can I teach her? What will she look like at 10? 16? 25? This year we are finally seeing just a tiny preview of an older version of Caroline, but if the preview is accurate, life with her will be a marvelous adventure - one surprise after another!

As Caroline learned what it's like to be a baby, toddler, little girl, and preschooler, she has taught me what it is to be a grandmother. What a wonderful gift! We’re both learning together. And, I might add, she is a perfect teacher for me.

Happy 5th birthday, Caroline! Papa and I are so proud of you - your intelligence, your manners, your wild imagination, your sense of humor, your smile, the sparkle in your eyes when you are excited about something, your creative blog, and your willingness to help your little sister learn how to maneuver through this world. I am so happy to be your Grammy! We love you very much, our Fairy Princess!

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