Sunday, August 02, 2009
On Being a Grandmother
I have been asked occasionally by women who are not yet grandmothers what it is that makes being a grandma so special. For a couple of years I could not come up with a good explanation, but now I think I know.
As a young mother I would often take my children out in public to meet the world, and I was usually rewarded with wonderful comments about how cute they were, how smart they were, etc. Since I had “created” these children, and they were such a big part of me, these comments made me feel good about myself. But it seems invariably, that following the complements, there were always the unsought questions and words of advice that made me feel incompetent as a mother, and not so good about myself. “Is she sleeping through the night yet? She’s a year old and not weaned yet? She’s how old and not potty trained yet? Are you sending her to preschool yet? Home school? Are you crazy?
If the child would (horrors!) have melt down in public, it is, of course, the mother’s fault. If, as a teen, the child rebels and gets into trouble, all eyes automatically look to the parent as being at fault. I think every mother alive can relate to these situations and feelings. So what is so special about being a grandmother? Well, for me, it is the fact that I can take my grandchildren out to show them the world, and I still hear the wonderful comments…she is so cute, she is so smart, she looks just like you…and not a single person has asked me…is she sleeping through the night, or is she potty trained yet? It is so sweet to just enjoy them and not have my competence as a grandmother called into question!!! I have resolved to make it my aim to always make every young mother feel like I do as a grandmother.