The Waiting Game

Photo by Catherine Yeulet/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Catherine Yeulet/iStock / Getty Images

June 1, 1989

My daughter is sitting in one of the lobbies of life, waiting her turn, wondering when her name will be called. When I think of her, and what she is going through, I keep hearing the tune by Boy George called "The Crying Game"..only substitute the waiting game.  While the actual lyrics are fabulous they don't relate to this, it's just the musical score playing over and over in my mind... 

She is, depending on dates, either 2 weeks overdue or 10 days overdue to deliver her baby. The last couple weeks have been  waves lapping with varying intensity from mildly perturbed to exasperated, from joyful anticipation to butterflies and disbelief; from is this really happening? to when is this happening!

She is beautiful and amazing, and as of today is full of positive energy, resolved to be gracious and go with it, not stand at the window, in that life lobby, shouting demands to be seen.

The waiting game is usually played when the outcome is life changing. There are those events with set dates and times like a test for driver’s license and those without, such like my daughter’s where she is waiting for her baby to come. I classify the times I have played the waiting game with events that are precious and tender, ones that walk a fence line between fear and elation and those that bring dread and sorrow.

At night, when it is quiet,  I put myself in her shoes and try to recall all the times I have played the waiting game, and it isn’t easy to slip back, the past is fuzzy now.  

My first recollection of being in the lobby of life playing the waiting game was wondering when I would get my period.  I remember surveying friends and my sisters, examining my changing body, reading the text that gave me broad parameters of  “norm” for onset age,  and examining the isles of products of which use heralds a change from girl child to young woman. Was this ache a cramp? Was this discoloration early menstruation? I think in some ways waiting for signs of labor to begin is similar. I had friends that were early maturers.  I am not sure if early was any better getting the period late, I think teasing and feeling different is no fun no matter where you stand. After forty years of having cycles, I do sometimes miss it, like I would life without seasons.    However, I definitely wasn’t an early maturer, EVER, and labor for this daughter came late too.  

Other life changing waiting games in that lobby I recall included wondering when my love would propose; he did one stormy September in 1977, another, the birth of our babies, 1, 2 the memory of which is a love so precious and tender; would I get my nursing license first fear then I did and following elation set the course of my career of service which provided fulfillment of purpose, spiritually and creatively, bringing self-assurance, friendship, and security for my retirement.  And yes, dread and sorrow - watching my beloved parents decline and pass.  Not all my waiting games end with a reward. Some herald a change with a finality I don’t want. 

It is interesting to reflect.  This is life isn’t it?  We learn with tempering of time to embrace the lack of control that living brings, the love and joy, sorrow, fear and elation, dread and tenderness of it all. 

Ain't It Grand?

Photo by ramonageorgescu/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by ramonageorgescu/iStock / Getty Images

Yes, it is grand being sixty- two years old!  I talk about aging here and there on this blog as I reach a new revelation about the good, bad, ugly of aging.  So here’s a good: there comes FREEDOM with aging, a lifting of the burden of accumulation of stuff, stuff I have purchased, been given, inherited.  Stuff I have kept because maybe someday I will do this or need this, maybe one of my daughters will want or need this…it may come in handy, I may be sorry that I don’t have this.

Yesterday, I spent the day finishing up the reorganization of my sewing room.  All I had left to do was to go through my craft books and figure out what to keep and one last bookcase. Yes, the bookcase was going too, and everything left would be consolidated into a 4’x4’ cabinet.

Earlier in the month, my daughters helped me divest much of my clutter of fabric, patterns, clothing, toys and etc that had been accumulating in my sewing room closet. Stuff was sorted into donation, garage sale and recycle.  I could see countertops, I had lots of room again. My closet was cleared out to just what I really want to have, what I need and what I want to do. I was under strict orders to do the bookcase. I am a good soldier, a very grateful soldier so I followed the orders.  Thank you, thank you daughters!

Being 62 years old means, I can (and did) finally decide with absolute certainty that I will not be doing Macramé in my remaining lifetime and accordingly I took that old Sunset Magazine Macramé book from the summer of love and men with long hair, 40+ years old and donated it to the Mission Thrift. The book has been on my bookshelf since I dated, married, had my two daughters, buried my parents, became a mother-in-law and soon to be grandparent.… kept on the off chance that SOMEDAY, I might want to do Macramé again.  May it find a good home and rest there in peace.  On another note, that book was not wanted by the local used book store either, however, in the five other grocery bags of books I cleaned out, were $50 of used bookstore credit....hmmmmm.

At sixty-two, some of my "somedays" have been there and done that so I can cross the rationale off the list of variables.  Being sixty-two means that there is not an endless lifetime in front of me to ponder the question: “Will I want this later?” The road of my lifetime actually has a light at the end of the tunnel…it is becoming simplified, I am more confident in knowing who I am and where I am going and so nope! I can honestly say I will not want this later and neither will my daughters who are already SO more progressed than their mother. 


There is a certain freedom in knowing that time clock is ticking.  Freedom to release stuff and be. 

The Yam

I woke up and sat straight up in bed the other day at 4:30 a.m. with the words "It's the size of a yam" shouting gleefully over and over in my head—oh my word- what the Dickens? 

A yam, maybe 5-6 inches by 3 inches? Small things can do big things to us...wake us up from a deep sleep or how about the Princess and the Pea, a virus, an engagement ring, those are all examples of tiny sized things that can change someone's world overnight.   

Well, you say, what the Dickens?  The Dickens is my daughter is pregnant and she said, "Mama, my baby, right now, it's the size of a yam"!  

Remember my lofty wardrobe project? the planning?the fabric purchasing?the anticipation? BOOM, on the back burner without a third thought, my second thought was a moment of guilt about abandoning the wardrobe project...BUT there is time, later....  My world has changed overnight and with it my plans and I couldn't be happier. You see, someone more important is on their way, someone the size of a yam, and time's a wasting.  A baby so small and yet already complete; a little heart beating, movement felt, organs and bones all grown or growing, mostly now just putting on weight while we all wait, in anticipation, our extended family's hearts all beating to a calypso in unison, gratitude for such a small being, a precious life, a young couple's dream. 

I have a different wardrobe to sew; a layette. I am a first time Grandma in waiting, a Nana to be. Press the apron, get a rocking chair.  This magical time comes once, twice and I am participating where I can. I want to sew my big overwhelming love into wee garments, knit sweaters and hats, clothing for my baby to cuddle and wrap her baby in 

Something tiny has come into our family's world in a big big way and we will all never be the same again.