Well, my time finally arrived.
In the fall -- Sept. 19, 2014 -- I became a grandparent. Melania Theresa Meslin cried her way into this world, 7 pounds, 5 ounces.
Before I even set my eyes on her, I was in love with her. Nine months earlier, on a cold January morning, my daughter, Elizabeth Meslin of Bay Shore, shared the positive results of her home pregnancy test.More ExpresswayReader essaysReader essaysGet published in NewsdayCartoonDavies' latest cartoon: The birthers return
As her pregnancy progressed, my love and anticipation also grew. And in April, when my daughter and son-in-law cut the cake at the gender-revealing, exhilaration filled the room, along with tears of joy. The baby was a girl! Wow, there was going to be a new little person in our family!
In the waiting room at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore five months later, I paced while my husband sat staring at his cellphone for news from my son-in-law that the baby had arrived. While pacing, I began to think how surreal the whole experience felt.
Thirty years earlier, I was where my daughter was, in labor with her, and my parents patiently waited for the call from my husband announcing the birth and gender of our baby.
This time, a picture appeared on our cellphones. My husband jumped up.
"Look at all that hair!" he exclaimed.
Yes, indeed Melania had a head full of dark hair. Twenty minutes later, we got to see my daughter and the baby. This moment in time, when I saw my daughter holding her new daughter, will always be unforgettable, along with my having my own children.
It is now eight months later and I am enjoying every moment of grandparenthood. I don't feel like a grandmother or a "granny," the moniker I hope my granddaughter will use when she can address me.
Since January, when my daughter returned to full-time employment, my husband and I have baby-sat our granddaughter Monday through Friday.
I am now the official cantor of nursery songs, some traditional and most made up, that often bring a smile to Melania's face or relax her as she readies for a nap in my arms.
And after a full day of songs, Dr. Seuss books, "Thomas & Friends" shows, walks in the stroller, diaper changes and messy feedings, I can barely get through evening routines without nodding off. When I finally head up to bed before 10 p.m., most nights it is earlier than when I was working full time!
Melania is the No. 1 topic of conversation between my husband and me and I am as excited as a kid each time I see her. It seems we see a milestone every week. Last week, her first tooth appeared, and anytime now she will start to crawl.
From the day I laid eyes on her, I have introduced myself, saying, "Hi, Melania, It's Granny."
This repetitive greeting now has Melania wiggling her legs in anticipation and excitement when she hears, "Granny is here!"
I am so blessed to have her in my life and honored to have an important role. This now 20-pound being beguiles me. Her chubby arms, belly and legs send me on a kissing spree, and she responds with the most adorable giggles.
Her big blue eyes intimate trust and contentment. Yeah, this is where I want to be. Granny has reported for duty!
Reader Mary Carbone lives in North Babylon.