My New Place

As part of the work that I’m doing around the Enneagram, I’m learning about the concept of “place”- what it is, what it isn’t, and perhaps for the first time even being aware of having a place at all. My oldest daughter Anna had our first grandbaby on August 15th. I’ve written more than once about Anna’s medical issues, surgeries and prognosis, so words can’t even express how delighted we all were to welcome Helen Gray Bowling into our world. She’s now six weeks old and I posted a picture of her on Instagram yesterday for the first time after I baby-whispered her to sleep. We had been at the beach for a week with all our girls and their husbands plus Helen. We’d traveled home and Helen was overtired and wanted and needed some sleep.

My “place” right now is a new grandmother, in addition to the mother of adult children. It’s a long way from being the mother or littles or tinies or whatever those hard years were. Learning/knowing when to speak and when to keep my mouth shut has been a challenge. I’m prone to express my opinion, and learning to keep my mouth shut has been a process. Some days I do really well and other days I fail miserably. This baby has been a game-changer in a lot of ways. Anna and Brad get to raise her however they want. They pick the schedule, the rules, the routines, and I just get to say “as you please.”

She’s a little doll, our Helen. We fought over her all week at the beach. Feedings, burpings, diaper changes, everything.

Frances the baby hog
Caroline the snuggler
Not even sure who was holding her here, but it was hilarious
We think she looks like her momma but has her daddy’s expressions

The other exciting thing that happened on our beach week was that our Viszla, Hazel, had a little encounter with a water moccasin. It was scary at the time but pretty funny in retrospect. Thankful for a close and kind vet who got her fixed right up and she is recovering well.

The whole social media piece of having children and grandchildren is tricky. I don’t see myself as being one to post much about my grandchildren. Their lives are theirs to live and I’m not sure me chronicling it on social media is mine to do. Maybe it’s just not my place. No judgment. Really. I’m just considering my own place, and I will probably be writing about other things. With an occasional grandmotherly brag:)

My grandmother name is Birdy. My mother’s father had a sister named Mary Alicia, who everyone called Birdy. She was my favorite and I was hers. So in honor of my great Aunt Birdy, I chose to be Birdy to my grandchildren. I know she’d be proud of me and how I raised three delightful girls. I’d give anything for her to meet Helen Gray. I hope and pray I’ll handle my place in Helen’s life with grace and dignity.


  1. Melanie on September 29, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    Great thoughts Melody! You’ll love being a grandparent. I post too much, I guess, but my story is one of God’s miracle and great celebration. Every baby is a miracle and so innocent to the challenges of their world or what it will be! I love being a grandmother because it’s such a gift and I did not have a very loving one, but my kids did! They had my mom who had modeled Jesus through it all! Love your words and thoughts. So happy for your little miracle!

    • melodyreid on September 30, 2019 at 12:24 am

      Thank you Melanie! My girls had a wonderful grandmother too, though like you, I did not. So awesome we get to change it for our families.

  2. Sarah on September 30, 2019 at 2:29 am

    You are making fun memories!
    Enjoy! It goes by so quickly.
    Hope you stay “Birdy” but remember sometimes grands make up their own name
    and it’s just as special!

    • melodyreid on September 30, 2019 at 11:35 am

      You’re my grandmother inspiration!

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