I'm going to be a grandmaman! A nonna, a nana, a grammy....I haven't settled on which one it's to be, but something that doesn't make me sound too old. Mem Mem is the hubster's mother, and my own grandma was just Grandma. Around here you hear a billion permutations of the word. Neighbor baby's grandmaman is Gigi, pronounced Ghee Ghee....a name that invokes clarified buttery goodness. A perfect name for a Grandmother. Geez, I'm old.
Well, that's the news from Irksome Middle Child. Today she goes into find out whether the early Christmas package will be a boy terror or a girl terror. What a ride it's been with this child of mine.
She's knocked up, but settled down. She's actually behaving herself! Impending motherhood is having a curative effect on the girl. I'd dreaded this moment from the time she was 14, but she put it off til 20, so I guess she's a little more mature.
One of the things I have noticed, with deepening joy, is that as I have watched her mature, I have seen her boyfriend do likewise. Not that I am spilling family secrets here, but this young man was once a shipwreck of a soul. His life evolved around drinking, drugs, hanging out in the corner where the police would magically appear for no apparent reason at all to harass the gang of ne'er-do-wells.
I hadn't known that his sister had died in a car crash. Or that he was carrying his grief on his arm in the form of a tattoo of her name. Or that his mother, shattered by grief turned to work as a medication for her sorrow, and that his younger sister turned to drugs. All in all, a very depressing home.
Now the Irksome Middle hasn't had the benefit of having two dysfunctional parents, or dire poverty, or a crippling paralytic disease on which she could reliably use to bolster her victim status...and the remarkable thing about being locked up in solitary confinement in the juvenile detention center, is that you are reminded daily with being surrounded by other girls who are in such circumstances, and voilà! your outlook changes. A month in the hoosegow worked miracles that screaming and punishing her just didn't accomplish....and she would be the first to tell anyone that who asked.
From joovy lockdown, she went on to work it out in a wilderness program that forced her to sleep out under the stars with a zero degree sleeping bag and just the clothes on her back. In February! She exulted in it, because her loving dad took her camping from the age of one, and being surrounded by a bunch of whiny city girls who had never been camping gave her an even new perspective on her life.
One of the other things this program did for her was to teach her the obstacle course, involving climbing rocks, hanging from zip lines and forcing yourself to climb a tower erected in the middle of the forest, to get an even better perspective on your life.
What this has produced is a young woman (I once thought was a malignant narcissist with criminal tendencies) who is confident, optimistic and hardworking. Being around her makes me happy...it makes other people happy.
And now she's going to actually MARRY the boy what done the deed. He asked me....ME! for advice in this matter. And I told him not to be afraid of taking the girl and making her legit. So they are going to marry at his grandmaman's church.
What can I say of this boy, but that I have watched him grow from street urchin to manhood. He works full-time and quite hard, at that. His big goal is to be a provider.....how many young men who have knocked up their girl friends can say that? Bravo, Ben! You make me proud.
We find out later today whether they are blessed with a sweet little girl who will hopefully be the very image of her mother....or with a little boy who will see in his father the kind of man he will want to be when he grows up.
UPDATE: An ultrasound revealed that she is pregnant with some guy named "James David".
Sweet Baby James! I warned her future husband that if the boy cries when he's born, it means he's gay. Heh. I'm going to have fun with these kids.
From Forty Frickin' Years ago: Sweet Baby James Taylor