Posted in Columns

Tiny wonder

It’s rare that I find myself at a loss for words, at least on paper. But here I am in the wee hours of the morning, hearing gentle complaints from the new life in our home. I find that words are inadequate to describe the roller coaster of emotion we’ve ridden for the past few days – all because of a tiny, six and one-half pound wonder.

My husband and I became grandparents for the first time Monday afternoon – and had the honor of being right there, live and in person, as Ella Christine Wang made her debut.

When our own children were born, we were so involved with the process it was impossible to take in everything that was going on around us. This time I could observe without all the distraction and hard work – okay, exhaustion – brought on by labor and delivery.

I watched her mom and dad – our daughter, Katie, and son-in-law, Cody – work as a team to bring Ella into the world. As Katie pushed, Cody was ready and waiting to catch Ella and wrap her in his loving arms.

Of course I cried. I really didn’t mean to. I was busy taking action photos of the entire event, but – wow. That was my granddaughter being placed in MY daughter’s arms, as I had once been placed in my mother’s arms.

Few of us witness the passing of the torch of motherhood. It happened so quickly, so quietly I almost missed it. I’m not sure Katie saw it at all. That will probably come when her first grandchild comes into the world several decades from now.

I thought of how Ella is a sweet tribute to the love of her own parents, as well as the love of the generations before her – of my husband and myself, of Cody’s parents, of my own parents and my mother- and father-in-law. Like Ella, we are all inimitable and infinite combinations of the appearance, gifts and talents of our ancestral roots.

As relatives and friends call or come by to offer their congratulations to Katie and Cody, to wonder at this tiny new person, I appreciate even more the love surrounding and protecting this little girl. We will all be there to help her discover her hidden talents, her hopes and dreams, her place in the world. We’ll all be there to kiss her boo-boos, to show her the better path when she wants to take the short cut, to teach her to ski (!) and dance and sing and be happy, even when life gets a little bumpy.

We’ll be there to wipe her tears, to show her our favorite places, to tell her stories about her mommy and daddy when they were little, and read her stories from our favorite books. We’ll build her block towers so she can knock them down; then later, she’ll build them for us so we can knock them down. We’ll draw pictures with crayons, we’ll play Chutes and Ladders and Candyland for hours – and make sure she knows how to win and lose sometimes. We’ll listen to all kinds of music so she can decide which kind she likes best.

We’ll let her know that she is beautiful from the inside out, that our love will never end, that she is God’s unique gift to the world.

Welcome to the family, Ella Christine.



I'm a writer, editor, photographer and artist living in rural Southeastern Wisconsin. I grew up in Chicago, made my way to the deep woods of Northern Minnesota and then landed here among the cornfields and cows. It's quite simply my happy place.

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