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.
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.