With tremendous thanks and gratitude to God and permission from Son #1 and Dil #1, I am thrilled to write this column. I would like to introduce all of you to Granddaughter #1. Of course I am not sure how I am a grandmother when I still think that I am 16 (even though I feel like I am 80 and have started developing wrinkles around my eyes — what is that about?). When Son #1 and Dil #1 told us the news a few months ago (and I learned that I am, indeed, able to keep a secret) I got this funny feeling in my stomach. Now that my son is going to be a parent, does that mean my job is done? Am I obsolete? And am I really married to a grandpa?
And though I cannot remember what I had for breakfast (except that is was probably unhealthy), I remember having Son #1 like it was yesterday. He was 12 days late, whereas this little princess showed up right on time. I was in labor for 22 hours and 30 minutes and when Son #1 was born, my dad brought me Cheerios, because I was so hungry. (See? It’s always about food.) It was funny hearing Son #1 say, “You told me that story so many times and I never really understood what you were talking about until I went through it.” (Well, not him, his amazing wife.) And here we are. The next generation.
As I write this, I am thinking that if you had told me 24 years ago that I would be sitting in the women’s section of Yeshiva Shar Yashuv in Far Rockaway, wearing a snood on my head, waiting for the naming of my first grandchild, I would have told you that you were crazy. The reason why I am married to Husband #1 is because when we pulled up to this yeshiva, and every person was dressed in identical oreo apparel and all looked exactly like Son #1, he said, “It’s like visiting day — everyone is wearing the same camp t-shirt.” He is a funny guy, that Husband #1. But here we are. We have no idea what the name is going to be, but whatever it is, we will love it.
It made me think about my name and my siblings’ names, and what my paternal grandparents must have thought when they were told that Cherise, Banji, and Jed were part of the world. I loved my grandmother, but she was a character, and never once did she say, “I still don’t understand why your mother named you that.” Not once — which is surprising because more than once she said, “When you grow up, you will probably have to work at a five and dime.”
Yup, that was my grandma, she loved my name but was not too sure that I would ever have a career. You can’t win them all. For those of you who don’t know what a five and dime is, years and years ago, there was a store that sold everything for a nickel or a dime — kind of like the dollar store, but cheaper. I think it was known as Woolworth’s, but I could be mistaken. There was also a counter where you could get ice cream sodas. Not cholov yisroel, but still quite tasty.
In any event, it has been an eventful few days. For my kids. Becoming a parent was a crazy time. As a little girl, I dreamed about having kids and playing with them. And then I turned around and my kid was having a kid. I am sure he will be a different kind of parent then I was. Isn’t that the goal? To do everything differently than our parents did? Because what do our parents know really? What do we know really?
But I can promise them one thing. You will never sleep the same again. Ever. Either because the kids keep you up, or you hear them roll over, or you run in to check that they are breathing, or you just want to stare at the miracle that is your child. No matter how they behave, or what they decide to do with their lives, they are still a miracle and still perfect… especially when they are sleeping.
And now, I must find out what Gd #1’s name is and pray that her life with be beautiful, filled with good health and bracha. Mazal Tov!
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck will be releasing the name upon request. She has gotten permission from Son #1 and Dil #1 to do this.