As I have “matured” (ok, sounds better than aged) as a mother, the beauty of becoming a grandmother is becoming much clearer. Perhaps parenting the teenage years and the mental anguish from raging hormones is sending me back to the glorious, sweet and simple days of babyhood... sleep, feed, change, cuddle, REPEAT….
Young mothers would argue these are not the simple years, but for those of us who have been there, we can honestly say it is so. In the midst of diapers and temper tantrums, all we wished was for children who could talk, potty and tie their shoes without our help. Fortunately, those things do happen. However the temper tantrums continue on in more complicated ways, and there is a growing uncertainty that all the "right" things we've done are not a guarantee the end result will be an amazing young adult we've dreamed of. As our children grow there are too many unknowns, too many temptations, too many mistakes and any of them can turn everything on its head.
With mothering there is so much angst and dare I say, regret? Wanting to do our best each and every day, at the job we were blessed to be given. Loving so completely at the core of our being, yet falling into bed many nights berating ourselves for not being better…more patient, more available, more loving, less hurried, less negative, less stressed.
That’s where I see the glory of being Grandma. There is no self-loathing, second guessing... regrets. As a mother, you did that, you’ve been there. You did the best you could at the time. But now there are these sweet little babies you get to hold and try again without the familiar angst.
Sure, you absolutely worry about your grandbabies (don’t nobody cross Grandma!) but this time you are more patient, more available, more loving, less hurried, less negative and less stressed, at least when it comes to their day-to-day lives. The little things stay little and the big things matter. It isn’t because you are a better person than you used to be, you’re just not MOM. Perhaps its nature's sweet reward. Or as I like to say, grandkids are like a great, big, fat, delicious dessert- saving the best for last!
To recognize the hard earned role as Grandma, these are a few thoughts I jotted down one day. I think they speak to the essence of what it truly means to be a grandparent.
That old on the outside, doesn’t mean old on the inside.The answer to seconds is “yes”.The best gifts are hand drawn and heart spoken.Simple walks make great moments.A heart has super human powers.A dandelion is not a weed, it’s a flower.Puddles do not have “no jumping” signs.Fingerprints on glass are stains on the heart.It’s OK to eat a little dirt occasionally.“Why” is a perfectly good question.Naps are good for your mood at any age.Comments about body parts aren’t mean, just honest observations.The best compliment is grandkids fighting over who sits in your lap or who gets to hold your hand.
I'm sure you may have a few favorite gems yourself, so feel free to share.
In angst for now-
.......2003 .......10 years later.... 2013