By Edie Weinstein
As I am writing this piece, I just returned home from a baby Tylenol run for my now 7-month-old grandson Dean. He is just beginning to cut teeth and he is quite vocal about letting my son and daughter-in-law know that he is not pleased with the new development. Teething rings, biscuits, rubber toys and books are gum soothing but last night it wasn’t sufficient. He kept himself and them up for hours on end. When I arrived, he was down for a nap and they were looking relieved.
As a new grandmother, I made it clear to them that I was on call and, if possible, would do what I could to be of support to them and my little jelly bean, (rhymes with Dean) as I refer to him. Good thing that only 20-minutes or so separates our two homes.
Roll back the clock a year and our family was anticipating his arrival. We were all excited to welcome him. In their 30s, his parents felt as ready as they could be. Married two years, new home purchased a year earlier, they had hit the typical milestones. Decorating the nursery was a creative endeavor. They painted the walls a powder blue and on them placed items and wall hangings that reflected their interests. Lauren loves Harry Potter, while Adam is a Star Wars fan. Baby Yoda meets wizardry. I like hanging out in there, too.
On January 21, 2020, a new leaf blossomed on our family tree. Dean Michael-Phillip Moser came into the world with bright eyes, and a heart-melting, aww-inducing infant smile. The hyphenated middle name is a tribute to my husband Michael who died in 1998 and a dear friend Phil who became Adam’s surrogate father a few years later. Sadly, he too, passed a week before the wedding. Both fathers had influenced Adam and helped him to be the man who I watched cradle his newborn son for the first time.
When they knew Dean’s birth was imminent, Adam told me he wanted his child to call me Bubbe, which is Yiddish for grandmother. At first it was a bit of a tweak since he knew how I sometimes cringed when I spoke about my own paternal grandmother, who practiced smother love/helicopter grandparenting. Then I realized that she was in many ways, a model for deep devotion, the carrier of the family flame, the passer of stories, the bearer of tradition (think Fiddler on the Roof), a better cook and baker than I will ever be. So, I accepted the appellation.
Before we knew his name, they teased us with the placeholder Diesel. I kept shaking my head at the designation and my son challenged me with the question, “You won’t love him if we name him that?” I assured him that I would love him no matter what. His return volley was that “This kid will be the center of your universe.” “Nah,” I replied, “he’ll be the center of yours.”
Adam’s psychic powers were clearly at work and Dean has become my little sweetheart for whom I can’t resist buying cute outfits, books and toys. Once I gazed into the blue eyes of my grandson when we were ushered into the hospital room that he shared with his mom and dad for the first few days of his life, I was hooked and ready to take on my new role.
As my father used to say, Dean has me wrapped around his little finger. He has really cute little fingers and toes which he uses now to hold his bottle and feed himself. The parents played it cool and didn’t tell his grandparents Stan and Donna or me this child’s real name until we were introduced.
For the first month and a half of Dean’s life, we were there several times a week to let the new parents sleep and do ‘normal people stuff,’ like shower and eat. I was recalling the ways in which my own grandmothers were part of the village who helped my parents raise my sister and me. I was now part of that legacy.
Unfortunately, that labor of love was cut short by the pandemic. We all hunkered down in our homes and my contact with them was phone, photos, FaceTime and daily videos I sent him. They included songs and nursery rhymes. Eleven torturous weeks passed until the grandparents came back to their house for baby care. Assured of as much safety as possible since I worked from home and rarely ventured out, I resumed hands on, face-to-face, heart-to-heart and hug-to-hug contact with Dean.
I am now there four mornings a week since my daughter-in-law is a teacher working from home and my son goes out to work. I take first shift, then her parents or sister take second shift. He benefits from the multi-generational love that surrounds him.
I am clear with them that they are the primary guides for their son, but I will offer suggestions to add another layer of support and inspiration. I talk to Dean, sing to him, dance with him and remind him that he can soar.
It is a transition from being a parent to being a grandparent, one that I embrace eagerly. My drool covered clothes are evidence of that.
REV. EDIE WEINSTEIN, MSW, LSW
Love Ambassador, Opti-Mystic & Bliss Mistress
Edie delights in inviting people to live rich, full, juicy lives. She is an internationally recognized, sought after, colorfully creative journalist, interviewer, author and editor, a dynamic and inspiring speaker, licensed social worker and interfaith minister, BLISS coach, event producer, certified Laughter Yoga Leader, certified Cuddle Party facilitator, and Cosmic Concierge. Edie is the founder of Hug Mobsters Armed with Love, which offers FREE HUGS events world- wide on a planned and spontaneous basis. For more than three years, she was the host of the Vivid Life Radio show called It’s All About Relationships.
She speaks on the subjects of wellness, relationships, trauma recovery, addiction, mental health, spirituality, sexuality, loss and grief.
Edie is the author of The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary and co-author of Embraced By the Divine: The Emerging Woman’s Gateway to Power, Passion and Purpose. She has also contributed to several anthologies and personal growth books, including Taming the Anger Dragon: From Pissed Off to Peaceful.
Her work has been seen in Beliefnet, Elephant .Journal Psych Central, The Temper, The Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, as well as a growing number of other publications.
Over the past 30 years, she has had the honor of interviewing His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Louise Hay, Judith Orloff, Debbie Ford, Arielle Ford, don Miguel Ruiz, Wayne Dyer, Bernie Siegel, Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Marianne Williamson, Grover Washington, Jr., Dan Millman, Ram Dass, Olympia Dukakis, Shirley MacLaine, Dennis Weaver, Mariel Hemingway, Ben & Jerry and SARK.
In the last four decades, she has worked with those who have been diagnosed with life-altering conditions, including mental health issues, cardiac disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis, infertility, end-stage conditions, eating disorders, addiction, traumatic brain injury, stroke, depression, and anxiety. She focuses on her clients’ resilience and assists them in developing a solid toolkit of coping skills. As both a clinician and a patient, she is aware of what it is like to be on the other side of the treatment relationship and can be of service to the patient, their caregivers, as well as the treatment team. Edie can address the issues that arise such as body image, trauma, sexuality, relationship changes, vulnerability, change in physical or cognitive ability, aging, end of life issues, and communicating needs.
If you want to:
- Embrace life fully
- Release patterns that have kept you from moving forward
- Re-write the narrative to create the life of your dreams and desires
- Enhance your relationships
- Become an Opti-Mystic who sees the world through the eyes of possibility
“Contact me today to see how I can meet the needs of your organization, publication or the person who looks back at you when you gaze in the mirror.”