Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Bestest Ever

The grandmother's touch. An older hand reaching out to stroke the cheek of a grandchild. Arms to rock a small baby, a child cuddled in the lap of a woman with the maternal touch of two generations. Memories, the scent of a grandma, everything from mentholatum to roses. A special book shared. Vague glimpses of a garden, a porch swing. Grandmother. A memory.

My memories of my grandmothers are limited since I lost both when I was a child. I do remember Grandmother Loxley lifting me from my high chair. I remember her lying in bed fading from the cancer that was winning. I remember saying good bye to her in my father's arms. Mom Johnson was an abrupt woman. The only warm memory I have is a private moment when she showed me the contents of the old family trunk reliving each prized piece. A tenderness I had not experienced crept through.

I grandmother by the seat of my pants. I'm not a studier of grandparenting styles. I do not read volumes on grandparenting. I had no mother close to me to help me parent and made more mistakes than I like to admit, and I read the books that my mother sent along with her unsolicited advice. I tried to cross the t's and dot the i's. This time I'm doing it on my terms.

When grandmaing came along, I found a new me. I knew what I had missed not having a grandma to go to, not having a grandma to love me warts and all. I decided to learn from my granddaughters how to be a good grandma. I decided to learn along with the girls. Guess what I found?! I found a new me.

"Grammy, when I grow up I want to be a Grandma," Gabby informed me when she was about five.

Ah, Gabby, it's the best, it's the bestest ever.


  1. I know you're a wonderful grandmother. My taste runs more to nature walks than kick lines, to reading poetry instead of moderating a talk show. But that's the wonderful thing about grandparenting. We show our grandchildren our true selves in a way that we weren't able to show our children, because we were so busy parenting.

  2. I haven't discovered all of the things we can do yet. We like poetry and nature walks as well. Some of our best times together. Susan, we are blessed.