July 7, 2013


By Marcia Kaiser

July will bring a new person into my life, a brand new earthling, a thoughtful, wondering, open-eyed individual who will wrap my brain, body, and soul around a new life, for the rest of mine.

This person is scheduled to meet me, and everyone else, sometime in July, and the waiting is hard. And yet, selfishly, I don’t feel quite ready. Am I wise enough? Grandparents should be wise. Am I calm enough? I don’t want to impart fear or worry; infants sense those feelings immediately. Am I able to love this baby as completely and devotedly as I love my daughter? The universal answer seems to be “yes,” but I hope I’m of that universe.

Someone asked me today if I thought the baby’s first words would be “grandma.” My answer was, “the first word will most likely be an exotic vegetable, perhaps fennel.” First words are not often “grandma.” That’s as it should be. And this particular baby will be surrounded by mangoes and shallots and kiwi (now there’s a great first word) and lots of fennel. I will not try to compete.

The word “grandmother” holds so much dignity and wisdom and generational significance. It’s laden with expectations and promises. At first, this word will have no meaning for my grandchild. When she begins to connect faces to words, she’ll find a suitable name for me. Whatever she decides, when she calls it, I’ll be there. I hope she finds me worthy.

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Marcia Kaiser

About Marcia Kaiser

Marcia Kaiser was raised on the north shore of Long Island, New York, where she and her family lived for her first nine years in an apartment above her grandparents’ stores. Her grandmother was always a part of her family. Marcia received her degree in education from Boston University in 1971 and her Masters Degree in education from C.W. Post College in 1975. She has been an elementary school teacher for over thirty years and is currently a library teacher in a public school in New Jersey.