I love being a grandmother. (Love, love, love!) It is one of the roles I am gifted at because I am purposely embracing the role. I am being the grandmother I wanted to have (which includes bits of the grandmother I actually did have.)
I am a better grandmother than I was a mother. As a mother, I was in learning mode. I was growing with my two children, who I had in my early 20s. As a young mother, I was anxious; always rushing forward to when they would get older, acquire new skills, finish this, move on to that. Little did I know how quickly their childhood years would go and that once they were launched, my children would never be mine in the same way again.
As Grandi, I savor the developmental phases my grandchildren go through. I notice their insights. I say yes more (mothers tend to say no more). I cook and bake. I play games – board and ones we create. (I know now to set limits in advance, we’ll play one game of Life or two games of matching tiles before we get started).
I play dolls –real and virtual. I race cars and push the swing and other playground equipment. I play dress up, get my hair styled and make-up applied. I read & tell stories as well as listen to stories read & told to me.
I provide a lap, a shoulder, listening ears, observant eyes & receive & give all the hugs I can. I say I love you. I laugh and laugh and laugh.
The July takeover of my life by my beloved granddaughter, Saige, has ended. I returned her and to Charlotte, where I “loved up” her siblings & assumed my “Canderella” duties. In Charlotte, My love got spread around to her siblings and my “play” grandson with enough left to be felt by my daughter who got me started on the parenting journey.
Let me say it again, “I love being a grandmother.” I know what is required of me in this role (unlike other roles in my life whose requirements keep shifting). I am soft and firm. I provide respite and relief from the incredible demands on children and families. I overflow with joy and try to maintain grace. (Except when I’ve done too much, having to still meet work and other obligations. When I get tired, I get cranky.)
I apologize to my children that I wasn’t more of a grandmother to them when they were growing up.
I thank my lucky stars that I have grandchildren and the well-being to be in their lives – though not as fully as I would like to be because of the distance. They allow me to turn back the clock to the most joyful time of my adult life, mothering, and allow me to do it more mindfully this go ‘round.
LUMUHUKU – Grandi
(Photo of Saige by Lolita Parker, Jr. Thank you.)