I warned my children.
I told them I would broadcast far and wide.
Now I've progressed to accosting strangers and making them look at pieces of paper. Since November, I've threatened to mount a bullhorn atop my car. In short, I am embarrassing my family.
No, I am not in the throes of a presidential campaign.
The news is I am a grandma, and I am tickled pink and blue. With the many grandparents in this community, I'm sure a few have behaved in like fashion.
Some months ago, our son and wife with their intrepid puppy-dog entered our front door. On this visit, Chloe the Dog wore a t-shirt that read: "I am going to be a big sister."
What an announcement. This could only mean one thing. Our son and his wife were going to be parents in November.
Just a few weeks later, we received a phone call from Colorado. When our daughter asked her dad to get on the phone too, I knew something big was up. She and her husband were also expecting.
In a flash, we had gone from receiving the occasional unsolicited senior discounts to becoming official members of the grand club. Our heads were spinning.
We followed the pregnancy process as diligently as NASA monitors the space shuttle. They say husbands sometimes have empathic weight gains during their wives' pregnancies. How about grandmothers? Surely I can use this excuse for my waistline.
These past months, we've learned a lot about modern pregnancies. There is more technology and knowledge nowadays.
Ultra-sound equipment makes it easy to determine the sex of the baby. There are more tests, rules and food restrictions -- even instructions on sleeping positions for expectant mothers.
Anesthesia has improved, so family members can briefly visit in the mother's room during labor. Unruffled, our daughter-in-law and daughter chatted via cell phones during their respective labors. I was amazed, recalling crushing my husband's fingers in a death grip during natural childbirth that was popular at the time.
Our grandson was born in November at Pardee Hospital where his father, mother and aunt were also born. His brave mother had a day-long labor before he arrived. His dad was there the whole time.
Even the day he was born, we could see features and traits of this little fellow's personality. He wailed during diaper changes. He had the Garrison frown like his father did as a newborn. He looked a lot like his mother's baby photos, too.
He slept through the night around the same time our son did. And at two months, he is almost the same length and weight. And, he really likes to eat.
Before dawn on New Year's Eve, our daughter and her husband called to announce that labor had begun. Throwing caution to the wind, I ran out the door with "bed head" and a half-baked makeup job.
What was more important? Fixing my hair, or catching the plane? No contest. We were fortunate to get two of the last three morning tickets to Denver, and greet our granddaughter just a couple of hours after her birth.
Somehow, this baby girl reminded me of her mother as a newborn -- something around the eyes, a certain way she holds up her head so early, her active nature and surprising ability to roll onto her side the first week of life. She resembles her dad too with her dark hair.
What a miracle that there are so many millions of people on this earth, yet we each have unique appearances and personalities from the beginning.
I am at a loss to describe the feeling of holding my newborn grandchildren. Beholding such innocence, a warm feeling spreads within. Such a strong bond is felt when tiny fingers wrap around one of mine.
A spirit of awe settles around me as I cradle in my arms the children of the infants I bore and raised to adulthood. It seems just a fleeting moment ago that I was a young mother, watching their every amazing step and marveling at every accomplishment. Where did the time go?
It is one of the greatest gifts of life to once again have all the joys of loving a child, yet without the yoke of responsibility. It is one more opportunity to see the wonders of life through the eyes of small child. It is a pity we adults lose this ability.
There is a certain pleasure in knowing part of us will continue through time.
And this grandma has a revived sense of hope that our grandchildren may live in a more just and peaceful world.
Mary Garrison, a Times-News community columnist, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her column appears on the fourth Sunday of the month.