Almost 10 months ago I found myself on the verge of what would turn out to be a new and wonderful stage in my life and I was nervous as hell! My life was going to change forever and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it.
I was about to become a grandparent!
If someone had asked me how I felt about this imminent event, I wouldn’t have known how to answer. I know I wasn’t too young. In the past I had always been pretty straight up with my two girls, “Don’t you dare make me a grandmother until I’m at least 50!”. Well, that barrier had passed a couple of years previously so I couldn’t hold that over them any longer. I’m very grateful they waited, maybe not necessarily by design. I guess it was just the natural order of things.
My husband and I raised two beautiful girls, not without a fair amount of trauma, fights, tears and the occasional “I hate you”. Some days, I remember thinking we would never get there. My eldest daughter had a saying and I knew we had turned a corner when she said to me one day “Mum, you know, it will be alright in the end. If its not alright, its not the end!” They had grown up, had relationships, their own homes, one a husband and most of all, we were now friends.
So, I thought, was I really ready to go back to the beginning? Was I ready for changing dirty nappies, babysitting, child proofing my home again? These kids have no idea what they are getting themselves into!
Let me tell you, the first time I laid eyes on my grandson I felt such an overwhelming feeling of joy. He was less than an hour old and I was privileged to be his very first visitor. I was indeed a proud Grandma; how easy was that, didn’t have to do a thing!
Fast forward to a few weeks ago when my daughter came home from some much needed adult time and asked how the little bloke had been that morning. To be truthful it had been a very difficult morning. He was teething and nothing that grandma did was very effective. We had read most of the story books in the toy box, (more for me than for him though I think) and all he wanted to do was chew the pages! We had every toy out, anything that didn’t fit in his mouth or taste good went flying. We changed three lots of clothes – not bad for 5 hours – as the food was obviously more fun to play with than eat? In the end we went for a very long walk. By the time we finally reached home base again, he had dropped off to sleep and I was ready to join him.
So, when my daughter walked in the door and asked how our day had been, I replied ‘Just fine, and how was yours?”
You see, being able to spend this time with my grandson every week not only allows me to share in his life and his milestones, it has given me the assurance that the difficult times we spent with our children were well and truly worthwhile. Trying to ensure that they would grow up to be happy and content with their choices in life, to have compassion and respect for others and pass on those important values to their own children.
Now, I look forward to my Fridays and any other time I’m asked to babysit. I just don’t want to miss a thing! I wonder how many of us shy away from spending time with our grandchildren because we don’t think we could manage but don’t realise the joy they can bring?
Are you a hands-on grandparent? How do you feel about being a ‘grandie’?