On the morning of April 13th, I received a call at work from my son. My grandchild had arrived. 7lbs. 6oz. Matilda Sue. My mind started going back to the day I delivered my son. He was 6 weeks early and I couldn’t believe how perfect, yet how small he was. I wondered what was going through my son’s mind. My first question, “How is Mama doing?” Turns out the labor was long, ups and downs but eventually my Granddaughter decided to present herself to the world. I couldn’t wait to see her. I wondered what my reaction would be, what it would be like to see the next generation of our family? I told my son I loved him, I told him to tell his wife I loved her and that I can’t wait to meet my Granddaughter. I called my husband, let my staff know my Granddaughter had made her debut and I would be taking the rest of the day off.
Since that time, my granddaughter has thrived, Mom and Dad are adjusting to the life that will be ever-changing and I have the privilege of being close enough to see “Tillie” her mom and dad often. It’s hard to describe the feelings when you go from parent to grandparent. I think it’s hard to describe because being a grandparent doesn’t mean you’re no longer a parent, simply that you still have children to parent and grandchildren to spoil. It’s pretty great.
After 6 months, watching my son and his wife parent, I’m consistently in love with their ability to get through each day amazed by her presence, setting aside their past life while settling in to this new one. Sure, I see the blurry eyes that sleepless nights bring, I see the frustration from time to time when nothing they do can stop the crying, but more often than not I see that unconditional love that they exude and it warms my heart and makes me love them all the more.
So how is it being a grandparent, ya know, does it automatically make me old? I have an 86 year old friend who never stops. If you met her you’d easily think she was in her 60’s. She said to me the other day, “My grandchildren ask me why I’m not like other grandmas and sit around and crochet or knit. I tell them, because I’m not like other grandmas, I’m your grandma and this grandma doesn’t sit and crochet.” Not that crocheting makes you a grandma, but you get the point. The fact that I’m able to be a grandma and jump up and down playing peek-a-boo with Tillie is awesome. The fact that my daughter-in-law can call me up and ask me to take Tillie for a walk and I’m able, is a gift. There are perceptions about grandparents, just as their are about getting old in general, the two don’t necessarily tie together.
I look forward to watching Tillie grow and doing all that I can to be an active role in her life. But for now, as she begins to crawl, I plan on being a respite for my kids and open arms for my granddaughter.