2008-07-10 / Editorial Page

Dear Hearts and Gentle People

This was one 4th of July the McGees will never forget. Not because anything extraordinary happened concerning the holiday itself.

We celebrated the usual way with family and friends, watermelon, homemade ice-cream, and the obligatory fireworks. But, as my nephew Mitch noted in that ho-hum tone of his, "It's always the same thing every year, fireworks and more fireworks. Borrring!"

I might have agreed with the little fella except that early on the morning of the 4th Clay Hill Road came alive with almost more excitement than our lil country house could contain.

Lounging in my gown in the recliner by the TV, looking like last night's supper leftovers, I was enjoying my first cup of coffee when my son Josh and daughter-in-law Amy came in the den. Soon after, hubby plunked down in his chair and we all sort of stared at one another with that not-quite-awake-but-aware look.

Before long, Amy walked over to me and handed me a tiny wrapped box. Umm, a birthday gift no doubt. My birthday, however, is next month but no big deal I thought, I'll take presents whenever I can get 'em. Feigning surprise I asked, "What in the world is this for?" Amy smiled and said, "Just open it."

I did, and inside found a tiny gold charm, a little cup with a handle....I assumed for my charm bracelet. "It's adorable!" I exclaimed. "I love it!"

"Read what's on the side of the cup," Josh said.

"Not without my reading glasses," I told him, and fumbled around the end table until I found a pair.

I leaned over under the light and squinted just enough to make out the letters, "B-A-B-Y."

Again, umm, what does this mean? A replica of my son's baby cup perhaps (although he'd never had a gold one)?

I took off the glasses and looked up at the both of them, then over at hubby who, too, was puzzled.

Then my daughter-in-law handed me another wrapped package about the size of a small book. I opened it, and was instructed to press a button on the back before I turned it over.

"Congratulations!" boomed my son's voice. Then, his wife's voice said, "You're going to be grandparents!!"

I quickly flipped the box over and recognized a sonogram with the words "McGee, Amy" at the top, and then the words, "BABY: 8 Weeks!!"

There, in the middle, clinging to the side of a pie-shaped form, in all its glory, was a tiny little glob of something that could only be our very first grandchild!

Hubby jumped up to see and, as they say, we don't remember much after that. We spent the rest of the morning and afternoon spreading the glad tidings to family and friends and wore out two sets of batteries on the machine before the day was done.

Uncle Lex had been privileged to be the first one in the family, on either side, to hear the news (who knew brothers couldn't keep secrets?) and he was pleased as punch at the knowledge he would be the only uncle (or aunt) this child would ever have (Amy is an only child). Talk about spoiling rights!

Our thoughts at some point in the day centered around what the expected one would call us....I mean, what would our nicknames be? With so many to choose from, it's going to be really hard to make a pick. Maybe we'll just let the little one call us what he/she decides. Of course, that has a down side as well.

The grandson of friends of ours in Montgomery christened them 'Moo' and 'Crappy.' Now, I'm sorry. That does little to warm the cockles of my heart. Then there's BoomPa, Nanny, Paw-Paw, Little Mama, Big Mama, Granddaddy, Grandmama, Granny, Nana, Grandpa, Other Mama, That Mama, Goggie, and even a set of grandparents in Marietta called Granny and Grumpy.

How about Booby, Gammy, Gigi, Big Daddy, G-Ma, G-Pa, Lolly, Pop, Ninni, Noni, Pappy, Peaches, and Pee-Pa? A friend in Thomson answers to 'Daddy Poop.' (I don't want to know why.)

Maybe I could go for 'Peanut' and hubby for 'Moo-Pa.'

Look, we've waited a long time for this wonderful event and I don't really care what I get called as long as I get called.

"Hey you!" is what my brother-inlaw called my mother for forty years. I don't think I ever recall his saying her name, and they got along famously.

Right now I think we're leaning toward "Me-Mama" and "Paw-Paw" but things can change.

Bottom line: whatever monikers we choose as grandparents or whatever our first grandchild wishes to call us, you can bet your bottom dollar on one thing: Oom-Pa-Pa or Wacky-Ma, it matters not the name...whenever we're called we'll come running!

Precious and priceless, so loveable, too, truly a miracle...little baby, it's you.

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