My daughter Kara just had her third baby girl, and Im not there to help. I should be there. Its very strange and frustrating to have to get updates on the babys progress as a new little person in the first week of her life via email and text messages and the occasional phone call. I should be there. But I knew that it wouldnt work for me to come for this birth, because I would have just come home with my own little addition to my home, my new Seeing Eye ® dog, Dora. When you bring a new dog guide home, its essential to help the dog adjust by not traveling at first. Besides, if I had taken Dora with me to Karas, it would have been awkward at best, having to have Dora either tethered to me or tied down at all times, another restriction to keep in mind for the first few weeks in the dogs new home. Had I known that I would be feeling so remote, I would have put off getting the new dog until after the child was born, but then, Dora would have been placed with somebody else, and I think God meant her for me. It was just not ideal timing. On the other hand, what Karas family really needed while she was in the hospital was someone to drive the older girls to and from the hospital, to dance lessons, art classes, and writers group meetings. Enter Karas in-laws. Luckily, they planned their trip perfectly, so they arrived the day before the baby arrived, and theyve been busy with grandparenting duties, including chauffeuring the girls around. I wouldnt have been able to do that anyway.
When Karas first baby was born, I hopped on a plane, and arrived a day and a half after the birth. My plan was to stop at the hospital, congratulate my daughter and hold that baby. Then go to their home and prepare it for their homecoming. I was going to scrub the bathrooms and floors and change the sheets and make a nice dinner for their first night home. . But the doctor released her that very afternoon, while I was there, so off we went, all 4 of us, and we had to get meat out of the freezer to thaw, and throw a meal together. Fortunately, on my previous visits to their house, I had poked around their cupboards and kitchen drawers to learn where they kept things and to memorize the layout of their house. For the next few days, I made myself useful by helping with preparation of meals and cleanup and just doing what moms do for their daughters who have just had their first babies. I cant even tell you exactly what that was, but on the day I was to fly home, Kara and Scott came to me and asked if I would mind staying a couple more days. Mind! Are you kidding me? I was thrilled. Can you imagine actually wanting your mother-in-law to stay longer? As the new dad went off to work the next day, I finally had my chance to do what I thought needed to be done. But apparently, what Kara liked most was just having her mom there. You can have midwives and doctors, lactation specialists, and a loving and caring husband, but sometimes what a daughter needs is just her mom.