What is it about grandchildren? The unconditional love I share with my grandchildren reminds me of what is important to me.
When I am with my grandchildren, I remember how much fun it is to pretend and to laugh at silly things. Things that I have taken for granted take on new meaning. “Grammy, let’s go see Hickory!” sounds as exciting as anything I could ever imagine. Because of my little ones, I have gotten up close and personal with the horses up the street, and I see the world in a brighter light.
Being with my grandchildren makes me think about my Auntie Bea. When I was little, “Auntie Bea” talked to me as if I really mattered. She had no rules, regulations and directions–just genuine interest. She would say “Bette” with a special lilt in her voice that made me feel special just to hear my name spoken. Auntie Bea made me feel like what I had to say was important. When my grandchildren have something to say to me, I hope to be as absorbed and interested as Auntie Bea was. I hope to convey the respect for them as people, just like she did for me.
My own grandmother is also a role model for me as I develop my own persona as a grandmother. “Gummy” lived with us and was a consistent and comforting presence. She was also a wonderful cook, seamstress and crafter. Gummy taught me how to knit and when I wanted those special foods, they always appeared. Her gentle nurturing affirmed that I was worthy. I do my best to emulate Gummy’s kindness. Gummy was accepting, and understanding. When I needed to be soothed, Gummy was there. I hope I can be that gentle presence for my grandchildren.
If I can convey to my grandchildren how special they are and how much I value them, I think I will have fulfilled my mission as a grammy. However, I may never know how much my presence, my attitude, my interest and my love will influence their lives, because my grandchildren also remind me that life is short.
As they grow, I age, and I am acutely aware that I will only be with them for a finite and unknown, amount of time.
I don’t know how much of their precious lives I will see. Will I have the pleasure of watching them pursue their dreams? Will I see what they will become? These answers are yet to be revealed. Nevertheless, every day with them is an exquisite pleasure, and I am learning yet another lesson in staying in the present and living life to the fullest extent possible.