Standing On A Chair

Telling it like I see it…

My Name is YaYa

Back in 2004, when my daughter, Farrah, and her husband visited my workplace to tell me they were having a baby, I fell to the floor and proceeded to sob uncontrollably.  This, of course, caused quite an embarrassing scene for all of us, including my co-workers who happened to be wandering through the lobby at that time.

Mostly, my tears were of wonder and joy.  But also, my tears were about, “What the fuck?  I am not ready for this yet!”

Waves of fear and insecurity flowed through me.  I was going to be a grandmother?  And what kind of grandmother would I be?  Aren’t grandmothers supposed to be 100% available?  “Oh my God, honey, I’m still working full time!” I said.  “You should have waited until I retired!” I said.  Which was a stupid thing to say, because I’ll not likely retire before I’m 80, unless I first become sick, crippled or dead.

And as I watched Farrah’s belly swell with the rapidly passing months, my anxieties continued to mount.  Quite frankly, I was scared out of my mind. 

That all changed on the day I saw little Griffin’s head pop out into the world.  I was the one who got to cut the cord.  I felt surges of emotion so powerful, so profound, that I had to go home, get into a hot bathtub and once again bawl my head off, after which I went to work, and then back to the hospital to sit and hold my boy for the first time.

Life was so different after that.  And though it was painful to see my daughter return to work after only eight weeks, sleep-deprived and pumping her breasts practically every hour, we all felt it was totally worth it.  I didn’t work on Mondays, so I became the “Monday Nanny,” which gave me a front row seat to almost every nuance of Griffin’s life from the very beginning. 

I hadn’t raised a boy, so I found it fascinating how different this experience was from having a baby girl.  I got peed on when I changed his diapers.  He was climbing walls and bookcases before he could even walk, for God’s sake.  And I learned a very important fact:  the male human is enormously enamored with his penis from Day One.  Well, Duh!  I should have guessed that!  To this day I have to occasionally admonish Grif to stop fiddling with his pecker.  “Go to your room if you must do that, my little love buggie!”

There’s just so much to talk about regarding being a grandmother, fodder for stories to be told another day.  Let me just say this: so far, the best part of all is that my boy gave me a name I just adore.  When he was, I don’t know, about 14 months old, he looked up at me with arms outstretched and declared, “YaYa!  YaYa!”

So now my name is YaYa.


November 23, 2010 - Posted by | Grandparenthood | , ,


  1. This is awesome mom! I have tears in my eyes! Are you happy now! You crack me up. And I do remember that you were very not into committing to a day to watch him but as soon as you cut the chord you looked at me and said, “I will be taking Mondays off from now on”…=) He is a lucky boy to have his YaYa!

    Comment by kidsights | November 23, 2010 | Reply

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jill Hessey Miller and Farrah Pirkle, Jill Hessey Miller. Jill Hessey Miller said: My Name is YaYa: […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention My Name is YaYa « Standing On A Chair -- | November 23, 2010 | Reply

  3. I remember all the feelings and fears I had when I had my first child. But nothing compares to the unconditional love I get from her. I think for the rest of my life, she will always come first with me.

    Comment by Adrian Lee | December 3, 2010 | Reply

    • There’s no other love like it in the universe.

      Comment by standingonachair | December 3, 2010 | Reply

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