I’m at an age where many of my friends are becoming grandparents. Some grudgingly, others with great excitement.
I’ve always wanted to be a grandma. Ever since my own children went through their middle school years, I’ve told them that they had better grow up and have lots of babies! I assumed there must be some parental reward for surviving middle school three times.
For once, I was right. Being a grandma really is all I thought it would be, and more.
Here’s what I tell my friends about being a grandma.
You’ll learn to love with abandon.
First and foremost, you can love with abandon. This is the same concept as “love them and send them home!” If you are in the middle of parenting a belligerent teenager, or a hyperactive toddler, this sounds like heaven. And it is. You can heap huge helpings of love on your grandchildren, feed them dinner and take them home! What could be better?
Your perspective on parenting will change.
I see my grandchildren through completely different eyes than I saw my own children. I don’t know how this happens, I can only tell you it does. Maybe it’s my age. I’m sure it has changed my perspective — especially on behavior. I was so picky of my own children’s behavior, and I noticed that it usual fell into one of two categories:
- A childish action they will outgrow. It’s usually exploratory and not disobedient, and certainly not worthy of harsh correction
- An action that can develop into a bigger issue. This one may be cute now, but won’t be in a year or so (maybe even by the end of the night), and needs to be nipped in the bud
Most behaviors by my grandchildren fall under number one. When I was a parent, it seemed like almost everything fell under number two.
You’ll be aware of the wonders of life.
Most of all, being a grandma gives you a sense of your own mortality. It exposes how very quickly time passes and how very precious life is. Looking at those five sweet faces is like seeing little echoes of the past. One looks like grandpa, one like her daddy, another like a blend of both parents’ fathers. The combinations are wondrous, amazing and ever-changing. The one who we were sure looked like mommy now looks so much like daddy. I am dazzled by the creativity of their design and how quickly they change. Then I think that little pieces of my husband and I are sprinkled into their lives. They are a part of our love for each other and each will carry that part of us into their future. Maybe that’s the deepest secret of the joy of being a grandparent. Our love goes on through them with them.
Grandkids & Grandparents
I have been married to the greatest guy on earth, Mark, for 30 years. We have three wonderful children and three of the cutest grandchildren in the world, of course. And to our great delight, we have two more grandchildren due in March! As I blog each month, you will meet each of the members of my family as they are the reason that I have anything to say at all.