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  • Sonya Leigh Anderson


The week after Thanksgiving Pastor Randy preached about Zechariah and Elizabeth. It was a birth announcement brought by an angel to a skeptical old man who’d be keeping the secret to himself until it became too obvious to hide. I sat there at church listening to the story and chuckling to myself. It must be the season for keeping secrets about babies.

I’ve known since Thanksgiving. And you can’t imagine the countless conversations perfect for sharing such a secret. Coworkers sitting around a lunch table showing off pictures of their grands, and my lips sealed about the one on the way. A whole month of Advent coming – the Baby coming, and by the way – ours is coming, too!

We’re having a baby. A grandbaby, that is, and setting aside the question of whether or not I’m seriously old enough for such an endeavor, I’ve been dreaming about this for quite some time. It was a God-dream in triplicate, and I’ve never doubted for a moment His perfect wisdom in weaving it in. Go to seminary. Write books. Enjoy your grandchildren.

ENJOY. Them.

And the first little grand is on its merry little way come July.

I’m going to be a Grandma. Nana, maybe – the first name to come to mind when they asked what I’d like to be called. Nana snuggled up on a sofa with a sweaty little fellow, tickling his chubby bare toes. Nana arms wrapped tight around a pig-tailed princess, listening to precious chatter. Nana reading stories. Always. Stories.

Nana next Christmas holding a BABY. A baby boy, or a baby girl, a secret no longer. This time next year our little one will already be growing too fast, smiling toothless. Doted by a whole slew of uncles. Luke will be the goofy uncle – Trey’s predication at our Christmas gathering, and I couldn’t get over the genuine excitement of this college-football-player turned baby-enthusiast. A first-cousin-once-removed, right? Yeah, I think so.

Christmas morning it was just the eight of us enjoying breakfast, and I told Kiana about the massive farmhouse table in my plans for our house by the lake. Another dream, and we’ll see if this one comes true, but no matter, I’ll be enjoying my grandchildren – all five times who-knows-how-many of them filling our house to the rafters some Christmas future.

My friend Jenny, mom of three boys living now in West Virginia, posted holiday pictures of a Playmobile castle, and boys in bunk-beds, clip-on lamps illuminating new Christmas books. You’re living my life. I made my comment, feeling a little nostalgic, but mostly I’m imagining bunks full of grands, and bedtime stories.

I’ve been saving an assortment of favorites. Not the castle, but a Playmobile playground and nativity set. A wooden red barn, built by Kyle. Building blocks with the sweetest wooden figures. And of course, a whole library of children’s books.

Last night Kiana and Grant talked about the new house they’re in the process of purchasing, down in Des Moines. Their little starter-home selling the day before Christmas. A bigger house will mean more bathrooms and bedrooms for an expanding family and out-of-town guests. (Grandparents, of course.) And we talked about how much easier it is to pack up and move pre-children than post, me saying I could understand better now how moms tend toward a bit of packrat nostalgia, keeping things precious, reluctant to toss.

Last night we welcomed old family friends for a post-Christmas gathering, and we shared the news with them. Our kitchen was full to bursting with our boy-men, once playmates, and Maple running circles, wagging the ornaments off our Christmas tree. So much chaos in this expanding family, with no end in sight. I sigh, happy. I’ll take it.

I’m going to be a Nana. Imagine that.

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