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Laughing in the Golden Years – First Great Grandchild

I guess I wouldn’t have gone to Tennessee for the birth of my first great-grandchild, not only because of Covid but because I thought that my granddaughter, Ari, had enough doting parents and in-laws around her.  But there is something to be said about technology as Ari’s mom, and later her dad sent texts to my phone and to the other North Carolina relatives from the moment Ari was admitted to the hospital with labor pains right up until the birth of Harper, a 7-pound 10-ounce baby girl.

First, there were comments and pictures of Ari being admitted and settled into a room with her darling husband, Garret, by her side.  Later there were more photos of Ari looking tired and ashen-faced, while her husband looked worse.  As the evening wore on, comments from all the relatives encouraging Ari to go ahead and have the baby began showing up on my phone.

One uncle texted: “I know this is difficult, but it will all be worthwhile in the end.”  “Uh, huh,” I thought, “he never gave birth so he doesn’t have any idea just how difficult and absolutely miserable this giving birth can be.”

Then came the picture after the spinal injection.  Suddenly Ari looked alive and ready to go.  Her husband, however, looked more stressed and anxious than ever and probably wondered why he had agreed to this whole “Let’s have a baby,” idea months ago.

Then came a final text: “They are moving Ari to the OR to do a C-section.”  Well, okay, that shouldn’t be too long or too painful, I told myself.  By then, it was midnight North Carolina time, and I was ready to go to sleep, but I thought I had better hang on until the actual baby appeared.

At 12:30 came the announcement that Harper Addison was now a part of the family. This announcement was followed by pictures of the new baby screaming, yawning, and swaddled up to her neck in pink.  

  One of my other children texted a picture of three people dancing, maybe doing the floss in celebration.  I stared and stared at that picture, trying to decide who among the family members was throwing their arms, legs, and bodies about while dancing to no music.  The woman could be Ari’s mother, but the men were complete mysteries to me.  What relatives were in the hospital dancing and acting crazy?  By then, I was too sleepy to text anyone and try to find out about the wild celebration.

The next day, I called my son, who’s name was listed above the dancing picture.  “How did you get that picture, when you weren’t even there?” I asked him.  “And who are those people?  I think I recognize Ari’s mother but the rest are a complete mystery to me.”

“Mom,” he said in that condescending voice that lets me know that he is trying to be patient with a mother who is not with it, “I wasn’t there.  That picture is from the show Seinfeld and the dancers are characters in the show. It’s called a meme.”  Okay so, I just learned another new thing that everyone else seems to know about.  

As I said, technology is a wonderful thing.  I am so happy that I got to be in on the birth of my first great-grandchild, but as to Seinfeld characters celebrating it, I could have just as soon skipped all that.

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About the Contributor
Maryann Nunnally, Contributing Writer
Maryann Nunnally is a retired high school principal and professional comedienne. She writes the regular column Laughing through the Golden Years for Cape Fear Voices.

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