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Big big news, which I’ve had to keep secret from you for some weeks and feel shy about revealing now – but I will, because I reveal almost everything to you, and this is too big to keep to myself.

My daughter is pregnant.
3 months pregnant. She is due mid-May 2012. I have a copy of the first ultrasound picture, one of the most thrilling sights of my life – a little face in profile, an arm. Anna thinks it has her nose. In a month she’ll have another ultrasound, and we’ll know if it’s a boy or a girl. But I am, as you can imagine, already scouring the second-hand stores for little clothes and, especially, books.
This is not the future for her I’d imagined in my motherly fantasies, which involved (don’t tell her) a wealthy husband, a lucrative job, a house. Anna is not married or living with the father of the baby (whom I hardly know, incidentally), but they have a strong bond, and she says he is 100% behind her. She lives with her best friend Holly, whose job, like hers, is childcare; Holly also is 100% behind her, absolutely thrilled. So she has a team, not to mention a certain grandmother on the other side of town, who might be persuaded to do a bit of childcare herself, and an Uncle Sam who will do his best to help. The families Anna works for have all said, amazingly, that she is welcome to bring her baby to work. She’s registering to take ECE courses at George Brown, where also, she has found out, a mother in a crisis can bring a baby or child to school. Times have sure changed for the better.
When I first heard, I confess that I freaked. You have no money, you’re not settled, how can you do this? This is forever! But then sense prevailed. She has wanted to be a mother since her own childhood. Her whole life is other people’s kids, and now she’s 30 – the perfect time for her own. She is a strong, vital woman, and nothing matters more to her than the lives of children. She will make this work. I know it’ll be tough, but then, what parenthood isn’t?
Her mother, I can tell you, is more than ready to be a grandmother – 61, still vigorous enough to push a pram and play on the floor. Not to mention the feeling that this is immortality, 25% of my genetic material flourishing on, into the future. Not to mention how thrilled both grandmothers are, in Ottawa and Vernon, to be great-grandmothers. My ex-husband called when he heard the news, and we talked for nearly an hour. This baby is a gift to us all.
Remind me of this when I’m taking off a diaper or trying to stop a tantrum. Please.
Now for a tiny bit of bad news: I just posted happily about the wonderful health effects of drinking. Now science comes along and ruins it, telling us that even light drinking increases the risk of breast cancer. You can’t win. I’ll just have to have a glass of wine to console myself.
And to toast.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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