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Have I Altered an Innocent Boy’s Future?

The babe has a name: Parker Kyle.

But Granny feels out of sorts. If not for Big Mouth (hers), the child might be going through life as Jaxson Kyle instead. Have I changed the fate of a child?

Several months ago, I asked my son and daughter-in-law if they had names picked out.

“Jackson if a boy,” they immediately said. They had a daughter, so they hoped for a boy though, of course, they’d cherish another daughter.

Immediately I piped up, “That’s what Jennifer named her baby.”

Two downcast faces glared at me.

Finally, daughter-in-law says, “I guess that takes care of that.” Son agreed.

They revealed their spelling was with an “x”: Jaxson. “Still use it,” I said, not realizing the enormity of my faux pas until later. Everyone knows how important a name is. It’s all in the name: pick the right name and it could mean success; pick the wrong name….

Jennifer is my niece, who lives in Calgary. Her son Jackson was born a few weeks prior to that conversation. Son and daughter-in-law knew of the birth but obviously not his name.

I loved the name Jaxson, especially the unusual spelling. “Use it,” I continued to insist. “The two kids will hardly ever see each other, if at all. You’re 5,000 kilometres away, and the names are spelled differently. And they have different last names. Who will care?”

My son and his wife cared. Nope, they couldn’t use Jaxson any longer.

Though they mentioned a few girls’ names, they had no definite name picked. And now (thanks to me!) they were stuck without a boy’s name. They rattled off names they’d mulled over, but nothing came close to their fondness for Jaxson.

Baby Boy was born December 30, a scheduled C-section. As with their first child, my son knew the baby’s sex, but daughter-in-law didn’t want to know. Son had been excellent keeping mum about his first child’s sex although I had tricked him into inadvertently dropping the diaper to me a couple of months before Sadie’s birth. (Granny successfully kept her lips zipped.)

Son’s wife may have suspected she carried a boy this time since son revealed the sex to his younger brother, who dropped the diaper to daughter-in-law over lunch after the ultrasound. Of course, second son then back-tracked, joking that it was a joke. She was not impressed. Second son relayed the story to me and, at my insistence, swore to me it was a boy. Since his sense of humour is like mine—odd and not always funny—I couldn’t trust him one hundred percent. Despite that, I immediately purchased several boy outfits.

Son and daughter-in-law had plenty of time to come up with an alternate boy’s name but obviously hadn’t used their time wisely. Poor Baby Boy was just that: “Baby Boy” for eight days.

“I think we have to name him before we leave the hospital,” my son had said a day after the baby’s birth. When they arrived home, the baby was still unnamed. “We have a month,” he told me then.

I felt worse and worse that I had blabbed the name of Jennifer’s baby. But, really, how could I have known they weren’t aware of his name? It wasn’t a secret!

Even Jennifer told them to go ahead with their original choice. “He looks like a Jax,” she had said. Coincidentally, Jennifer had unknowingly “stolen” the middle name of one of Jackson’s recently born cousins for Jackson’s middle name.

I sent my son a text, urging them to keep Jaxson if that’s what they both wanted. I apologized for shooting my mouth and interfering in a child’s future. “Just do what you BOTH want,” I said. I hoped I wasn’t interfering.

My son never replied—until yesterday, when he texted, “Parker wants to know when you’re coming to visit.”

“Great name,” I texted back. “We’ll be up soon. Give him a hug and a kiss from Granny.”




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It’s a Boy!!!

Today, December 30, 2015, just in time to ring in the New Year, I have a new grandson. As of this moment, he is unnamed, but one name in the running is “Parker.” I kind of like it—a lot, actually—so I hope that’s it. Another under consideration is Benjamin though my son says Parker is “growing” on him. And since he couldn’t remember the other name(s) they were contemplating, I’m thinking it’s safe to say Parker is it!

“Parker” weighed in at eight pounds fifteen ounces. My daughter-in-law had a scheduled section (she wasn’t due until January 3), and the baby’s head was so big the doctor said it was a good thing she had a section.

“He looks like a sumo wrestler,” my son told me. But what does he know?

“You were nine pounds one ounce,” I replied. Bragging, I added, “and I had you naturally.” I neglected to tell him I was in labour, shrieking and in pain, for three days. With numerous drugs. After that experience, I swore I’d have no more. But time brings forgetfulness, and eight years later, I found myself pregnant again. By choice!

Needless to say, my last two children were delivered by C-section. Good thing because my second, another son, was ten pounds six ounces.  Ouch! My daughter, who followed eighteen months later, was “only” eight pounds eleven ounces (if my memory is correct).

My son and daughter-in-law, to quote a cliché, are truly blessed. They married when my son was forty; my daughter-in-law-to-be was thirty-eight. Neither had been married previously, nor had either of them had long-term live-ins or children from prior relationships—a feat in this era. It was as if the two had waited for each other.

I had stood beside my daughter-in-law’s father in the receiving line at their wedding. Someone congratulated him, saying, “She waited a long time to get married.” Her father replied, “And I’m glad she did.” My heart swelled.

You have to know the entire story to “get”the gist. My son, even as young as fourteen, had always said, “I don’t want to get married. I don’t want to bring children into this world.”

I had been sad for him, with that perspective on life. But at the time, I hadn’t realized the repercussions on me: a potential grandmother. And back then, I hadn’t even thought of ever being a grandmother. Too grey-haired and decrepit for me!

But later, when the proverbial ton of bricks hit me, when I realized I might never be a grandmother, I was devastated and endured many sleepless nights. (I’ve written previously about my pain, but in a nutshell: My daughter had trouble conceiving; my younger son was in a relationship with a woman who already had a child from a previous relationship and she didn’t want more; and my oldest, the subject of this writing, never wanted marriage let alone children.) That was when I realized I was doomed to never be a grandmother. And, of course, when something is denied, isn’t that when you want it?

Fast forward a few years: My daughter announced she was pregnant just a few days before my younger son’s partner did. They each delivered a girl, three weeks apart (girls are now eight). Both my son and my daughter married shortly after the births of their children. My daughter regretted not following protocol; my son’s wife adamantly proclaimed she’d have no more.

My daughter suffered a devastating miscarriage about fourteen months after her first child’s birth. Time took (in my mind) forever to pass before she was pregnant again. But three years after her daughter’s birth, she delivered a son, her last child.

Okay, I thought. Four grandchildren (three biological, one step). I’m happy. Elated. More than elated! Four was more than I imagined I’d ever have.

And then my oldest child amazed me. At the time of my two granddaughters’ births, he commented he might like to marry and have children someday—if he ever met the right person.

About five years later, he finally met her. They married a year after meeting, an absolutely, over-the-top, perfect wedding. They had their daughter the following year (a respectable eleven months later!), and eighteen months after that…TODAY…I have my sixth grandchild, my second grandson.

My son and his wife are truly blessed. And so is this Granny, who never dreamt she’d have one grandchild let alone six.


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