A Daughter Only

Suddenly my mother is longing for grandbabies. But I am so not there yet.

Getty Images

I’m not sure exactly when it happened. I’m referring, of course, to that moment in my mother’s mind when I shifted from being her prized only daughter to her only hope for grandchildren.

The woman’s got a crazy case of “the grandbabies.”

Maybe it was last fall, when I turned 28 and spent a stimulus check on a purebred I named Miles. When I told my mother about my plan to get a puppy, she cooed, “Awww, are you lonely, little brown-eyed girl?” Lonely? I’m single, lady, not psycho. I got Miles the next day and her first response was, “You girls nowadays would rather get a dog than a baby!” It was the first time I’d heard her say the word “baby” with such conviction, such craving—as if it were a prophecy being revealed in pieces she’d been hiding.

We both laughed, though, and I changed the subject to something more suitable for mothers and their adult-ish daughters—boys.

There was this friend of mine—we’ll call him John—who she had noted was “respectful with a nice build.” Unsure if she was matchmaking or just making small talk, I paid her no attention, offering up no annotations of my own and repeating a familiar refrain, “We’re just friends, woman.”

Around Christmastime, my mother’s baby craving became impossible to ignore. My cousin’s oldest son—the first kid I babysat for free—had just had his own son. He was the first member of our family’s sixth generation and seemingly the first baby ever. My mother cradled her great-great nephew for the first time, looking down at him—and across the room at me, expectantly.

The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.