I may be the only person who’s glad summer is over. It’s not that I don’t like summer; I do — tourists and all. Then again, I love the North Fork with all its delightful seasons, winter included. (Weird, I know!)
Why the uncharacteristic behavior? It’s complicated, and not. Although I’m never at a loss for words or ideas, I’ve been finding it hard to concentrate, much less write a column. However, during my beach walk this morning, I was struck by a lightning bolt of inspiration: “Write what’s happening!”
My first grandchild, “baby boy” (his name is a secret), is due to arrive soon. I’m writing this in advance of his arrival — just in case he decides to show up early. If he comes late, my editor will be happy. She loves when I file my columns early.
Because my son Jeff and his wife, Cassandra, live 10 hours away in northern California, I haven’t a ghost of a chance of getting there in time — unless I want to camp out for God knows how long in Happy Camp. (Yup, that’s the name of the town.) As I pen this column, Jeff and his crew are battling the wildfires that are sweeping northern California. The hospital is two hours away! (I hope Jeff has taken some birthing classes!) And Glam-Mom is anxious. (At least they named me!)
My emotions are dizzying: excitement, worry, joy, impatience. Trying to guess what his parents have named him is growing tiresome. They had a name that met with my approval, but they’ve become very tight-lipped. They did throw some new names into the pot that were, well, not to my liking. But wait: Did I mention I’m a bit of a control freak?
Who will he look like? I’ve conjured up various combinations. Jeff’s dark hair with Cassandra’s beautiful hazel eyes would be a lovely blend, but I can’t order a custom-made baby. Ah, me. Those control-freak tendencies continue to kick in. But I’m positive he’ll be the cutest baby born this century. Obviously, I’m a tad prejudiced when it comes to my family! Aren’t we all?
I worry about the distance. How will he know me? In lieu of being a constant presence, I think I’ve figured it out: I’ll visit often and Skype 20 times a day, minimum! A friend suggested I find a special song and sing it to him so he can recognize my voice by association — but I’m no Adele. Still, I can’t hold him, smell his neck or kiss him on a regular basis.
But enough complicated stuff!
My heart overflows with joy knowing that baby boy will carry his dad’s and Grandpa George’s surname — and the next generation of Marszals will begin. My faith tells me that Granddaddy is smiling with all the company of heaven. I know, if he could, he would visit Earth to be physically present for this momentous occasion. And who knows? There’s more between heaven and earth than meets the eye.
In an earlier column I wrote: “I thought the Glam-Mom ship had passed; but it was merely shrouded by fog, waiting in the harbor.” The pending birth of baby boy has highlighted some of my lesser qualities, but my love and grateful heart outshine my dark side. Any child born into this world is a cause for celebration; new life is a miracle and a blessing. And this, folks, isn’t complicated.
Some years ago, when I heard “Blessed” sung by Elton John, it brought sad tears to my eyes. Nowadays, happy tears are surfacing. If you’re not familiar with the song, give a listen. But until you do, here are the first and last stanzas:
“Hey, you, you’re a child in my head/you haven’t walked yet/your first words have yet to be said/but I swear you’ll be blessed. “
“I need you before I’m too old/to have and to hold/to walk with you and watch you grow/ and know that you’re blessed.”
And he is!
Postscript: Luca Geoffrey Marszal was born Sept. 14. Now Glam-Mom knows his name.
Ms. Marszal-Iannelli is a resident of Jamesport.