Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Growing into grandparenthood

Yes, I had raised two children. Okay, I knew about bottles and diapers. I knew about motherhood with its trials and joys. What I had to learn about was being a GRANDPARENT.

We have natural instincts that come with us when we are born. We know how to cuddle a small animal and a stuffed toy. We feel protective of those we love. We use our instincts to protect ourselves. However, there are many things we learn only by trial and error.

Twenty-one years ago I watched a baby girl come into this world. Every fiber of my being wanted to hold, love and protect this newly breathing child. I was a first-time grandma. Grandma. Before I could learn what to do with this child, I had to learn how to wear the name.

Upon hearing that a baby was coming, I remember vividly thinking, "I'm divorced, fifty-one and a grandma!" Immediately I felt old. Who would ever want an old woman?!?! I probably should begin wearing dark colors and stop coloring my hair. Perhaps I should wear an apron. Those are the grandmas I remembered. My life would once more consist of diapers and spit up! GRANDMA!!!! How dare they! I wasn't ready yet!!

Yes, that was the first grandchild. When that newborn was placed in my arms, I realized that there was no greater name than grandma. I was her grandma. My tears greeted her then, and now I find when she comes home from college more tears flow. I learned what it was to love more deeply than ever imagined on that day March 11, 1999. For once I found a bond that I had never noticed before. It was one with my mother, with my grandmothers. I began to wonder about those women who were no longer in my life. I wanted to know more.

How does it happen this growing into grandparenthood? Oddly, it felt natural. In fact, it was wonderful and keeps getting better. As my grandchildren age, I miss the diapers and the spit-up. I miss all the 'firsts'.  I miss the long periods of time spent with tea parties and legos, with dress-up and dirty faces. I miss it all.

My older granddaughters call me Grammy. The seven-year-old twins call me MeMe. Blessings each and every time I hear the words. Why do I write this blog? Because I know you understand what it is to be a grandparent.

As for today, Happy Birthday, Sydney. Thank you for teaching me what it is to be a GRANDMA.

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