By John Clark
Kristine’s daughter Rebecca went to the doctor for an ultrasound because something didn’t feel right on the side of her belly. As the doctor is checking the area to see what the pain was he looked up concerned and asks “how long have you been pregnant?” to which she explained they found out only a few weeks ago and weren’t exactly sure. This is when the doctor tells her she is thirty seven weeks pregnant which was nowhere close to what she thought. The shock of being in her third trimester was still echoing as the doctor explains the pain on her side is the baby is pushing on internal organs, he said they need to deliver the baby today or she can lose the baby and may not survive herself. Within two hours she has an emergency caesarean section.
Kristine Lange is the mother of three girls with two in their twenties, and another about to graduate high school. She thought she was on a break from having any little ones scampering through her house but unexpectedly she got the role of Super Grandma. Kristine’s daughter Rebecca at twenty-two years old was having some troubles with her ankles swelling, making it very uncomfortable to get around. As a mother of three Kristine already knew and bought her daughter a pregnancy test. A few days later Kristine’s oldest proved her mom’s intuition correct as moms always are and she was in fact pregnant. Kristine’s daughter and her boyfriend sat their families together to tell them the news and, the questions came in “How far along are you?” “Boy?” “Girl?” coming from all different family members. Kristine knows how scary being a mother can be and was scared for her daughter but knew she would help her in any way she could. The shock and excitement of a new family member barely got to settle before the next chapter came into focus.
On October 13th 2014, Augustus was born premature but healthy. Kristine picked up being motherly figure again like it was nothing. With raising three kids and having a job as a caretaker it was only natural. Now over a year later and still going strong Kristine and Auggie are best friends. With Kris’s bubbly personality, always cracking jokes and showing her motherly tendencies, and Auggie’s sunshine smile scrunching up his nose, they are the talk of the town finding friends wherever they shine their light. Kristine has taken some time off work to care for her grandson and step up to the plate so her daughter doesn’t have to take him to daycare. On any given day she starts her day around 10 A.M. after her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend go to work. Auggie is your typical one year old crawling on the ground, throwing plastic cups and laughing till he falls over. “He’s a happy baby” says Kristine. “he is always smiling” making grandmas job a walk in the park most days. Kristine walks around with him and makes sure he doesn’t bump into anything or fall to ensure he stays in pristine condition, she plays with his toys in front of him as he radiates that sunshine smile till he wears himself out for his afternoon nap. While he is sleeping Kristine gets everything ready for dinner later that evening trying not to make too much noise and checking on him from time to time to make sure he didn’t wake up early. Kristine tackles the day to day cooking, Cleaning, and keeping up with the baby without breaking a sweat proving this isn’t her first rodeo. She takes the baby running errands pushing him in his stroller as he bangs on his tray. Kristine loves to have his nonsense grunts and giggles to keep her entertained thru out the day.
Kristine doesn’t look like the traditional idea of a grandmother with a cane and hunched over back, you see a forty five year old woman in a funny mustache t-shirt and shorts with blonde hair and glasses with a rag on her shoulder and hand-in-hand with auggie bouncing around and dancing on her knees. Kristine also has a lot of energy for a grandmother, constantly moving around and keeping up with all the up to date funny faces and diaper checks. She’s also says she’s lucked out to have a very well-mannered gentleman with her all day, who’s rarely fussy as long as there is a steady supply of cheerios on his stroller tray and some watered down apple juice in his bottle. As the day begins to dwindle away and night starts setting over their house in Gulfport, Kris’s daughter comes home from work to her son, and asks the normal questions, “Did he nap? What did he eat?” Kristine ensures this still new mother he was in good hands. Even still when her shift is over, Kristine coaches her daughter on motherhood and shares the secrets of her twenty plus years of experience. As Auggie goes to bed in his crib and awaits his next day with Grandma, Kristine is happily waiting to see her grandson tomorrow.
Header photo by Nicolas Michaud (flickr creative commons)