Slice of Life: The Cousin Coup
Meet the cousins: Jordyn and Layne. Two girls, just doing what they can to shake up their grandma's life.
You see, no one thought I'd ever retire. Honestly, I didn't really think so either - until...
let me explain.
A Look Back
When I heard my oldest daughter was expecting her first baby, I was beyond excited. It took me about two seconds (okay, maybe a little longer) to come to terms with the fact that I was old enough to be a grandma and move to plotting how I'd use all I learned from my grandmas to rock this role. The more I thought about it, I was quite sure this was the role I'd been ready for all my life.
Then came COVID life!
Our first granddaughter was born in May of 2020. Yep, remember that time? Schools were closed. Stay-at-home orders were in place. Hospitals often didn't allow dads to be present for deliveries, let alone allow grandparents to pace in waiting rooms. Travel was restricted. Our oldest granddaughter was born seven hours from us. We began plotting and were able to make a quick visit to meet our first granddaughter work but, as teachers, continued visits were nearly impossible. It brought too much risk to such a young infant. There was no way to reduce our exposure enough to go. So we witnessed the first year of Jordyn's life in picture, video, and via Zoom. We saw her begin to flip over, sit up, crawl around and take her first wobbly steps in weekly family Zooms. While this was a gift, I lamented all the lost visits due to the pandemic and our work.
In early fall of 2020, we learned our youngest daughter was expecting our second grandchild. Of course, the virus continued to rage. I couldn't imagine missing so much of another grandchild's first year. I mean, after all, I was trained by two fabulous women for this grandma life.
Growing up, I had the best grandmas. (I know what you're thinking: that's not possible as you had the best grandmas. Grandmas are good like that.) My grandmas complemented one another. My mom's mom was practical and adventurous. She refolded foil to be used repeatedly and bought gifts you needed. When we'd visit she'd take us on picnics to interesting places. My dad's mom was trendy and fun. She kept the best snacks around her house and seemed to always be prepared for us to drop by. She knew the newest singers and stars. Grandma loved hobbies, so she helped us build interesting collections.
To say I was a grandmas' girl would be an understatement. At the age of seven, an apartment complex was built behind our house. As soon as I saw the apartments go up, I called my grandma to let her know they were building a place for her to move - and move she did. Most of my life, she lived within walking distance so I spent a lot of time at her house quilting, playing cards, and staying up much later than my mom ever allowed. With my dad's mom at my back door and my mom's mom the perfect weekly retreat, I watched two women be the best grandmas.
On a warm day in early March, my youngest daughter and I were on a walk. (You know, trying to help the baby along.) She was a few weeks from the birth of her daughter and I was a few weeks from retirement. We were talking about the complexity of the decision, but all that was going to be possible without a tight work schedule - in the middle of a pandemic.
"Layne did this you know," she quipped.
I laughed. "Who ever saw it coming?" I wondered aloud. "Layne had a hand in it," I retorted, "but I think it was a cousin duo." The thought of all we had missed in Jordyn's first year weighed a bit for a moment. "Look at the two of them, already working their grandma," I laughed.
"It's the first cousin coup," my daughter replied.
And cousin coup it is.
I wonder what is next for this dynamic duo.