Spreading the News – Extended family edition

Every year a number of my extended family travel from all across the country to the Black Hills of South Dakota somewhere between August 19th and 24th for my grandpa’s birthday. This year was extra special. My grandpa turned 92, my aunt Gayle turned 60, my uncle Jeff turned 50, Nathan and I were celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary, and this all happened at the same time that I entered the 2nd trimester. For Gayle’s birthday, she wanted to run the Leading Ladies half marathon in Spearfish with all the sisters, so everyone was there and it was the perfect opportunity to share the news.

To start the whole thing off, I called my grandpa to share the news about a week before we made the drive out. He took his secret-keeping duty very seriously. While my aunt Nancy was driving him back from Rapid he mentioned that I would be coming to visit next week. The later that day he called her up:

“Did you know Amanda’s coming to visit next week?”

“Yes, you told me earlier.”

“Oh. Okay bye!”

And again later:

“Did you know Amanda’s coming to visit next week?”


“Oh, well it’s not my secret to tell. Bye!”

He had several variations of this conversation with Nancy throughout the week and with my aunt Mary Beth when she got into town.

Saturday afternoon the family got together for a picnic in Spearfish park to celebrate the birthdays and get ready for the half marathon the following morning. While waiting for everyone to show up, I sat down and was chatting with Mary Beth who asked, “So, are we talking about secrets?” I told her the news and she relayed the story of grandpa’s hint dropping. When my mom arrived was dying to share the news with her sisters since she had been sworn to secrecy. She presented us with an anniversary card laced with added comments about the future baby. We first showed the card to my aunt Kathleen who, after reading it, remarked “Oh, real subtle, Ann!” We tried some stronger hints before announcing “I’m pregnant!” She was very surprised and cried happy tears. When we showed the card to Nancy, she told us the story of grandpa’s hint dropping and helped us find uncle Galen to show him the card. I’ll never forget his reaction, he squeezed me in a long embrace as though trying to share his feelings via osmosis because they were too big to contain. I had many more congratulations that day, but that’s the one that stuck with me the most.