Have I mentioned that I have a granddaughter? This may not seem like a big deal to you, but for me, the mother of three sons, a baby girl in the family is a glimmer of lace and tulle in a sea of denim and camouflage. Myra Laine. How I adore her.
Myra's extended family, an eclectic mix of folks, gathered from north, south, east, and west for her baby dedication at the church in Alabama where her parents were married. When Myra's diaper unloaded onto her pink batiste bloomers right before the service, it was clearly a two-grandmother job. My daughter-in-law gave the urgent signal to her mother: "Mom! Bathroom! Now!" I figured I might be able to help, so I joined the procession, bringing up the rear behind my son who carried the essential diaper bag. We ducked into a side room with a big conference table and got to work.
Like a well-trained Nascar pit crew, we performed a full-service pit stop in record time. As if we had practiced for days, we all knew exactly what to do in a sprint that involved laying down a changing mat, pulling off satin shoes and lace-trimmed socks, removing the offending bloomers without soiling the rest of the outfit, undiapering, wiping, rediapering, replacing socks and shoes, tying little bows, packing everything up, and keeping Myra entertained so she would be smiling when she faced the congregation.
Eight hands moved in furiously efficient synchronization as we danced around each other to grab a foot, a wipe, a diaper, the hem of a dress, a bonnet, a pacifier. And Myra cooed through it all. I think she was enthralled by the blur of motion in which she was center stage.
We're your posse, Myra, I thought as we walked back to the sanctuary with just moments to spare before the service began. And when we all stood together with the rest of the family as our baby girl was dedicated to the Lord, I thought about how blessed Myra is to have -- besides her amazing parents -- two sets of great-grandparents, two sets of grandparents, four uncles, a host of great-aunts and great-uncles, and a world of cousins. Yankees and Southerners, Christians and Jews, city folk and country folk, united by this child who is flesh of our flesh, and by a sense of humor that overrides our differences and makes us an unlikely but authentic family. Myra's posse.