One More Time

I can’t say I wasn’t warned.  Lots of people told me how wonderful it was to become a grandparent, and how much I was going to enjoy this new addition to our family.  They told me exactly how I would fall in love, instantly and completely, the first time I saw the baby, and what a huge change he would make in my life.  I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t quite believe them, because so often in my life, the reality doesn’t live up to the hype.  I tend to set the bar really high when I hear such glowing reports, and I’m almost always disappointed by what I actually experience.  So I took all those predictions about how awesome it was to be a grandparent with a grain of salt.

IMG_3509 2Luckily, I’ve reached the stage in life when I no longer have trouble admitting that I am, every now and then, absolutely wrong.  Because I was wrong about this grandparent stuff:  it’s just as wonderful as I was told.  If anything, it’s even better.

The best part of being a grandparent isn’t having a cute little baby to hold, cuddle and rock to sleep.  It’s not the wonder of seeing my daughter and son-in-law in a whole new role as loving parents.  It’s not even feeling my heart melt every time my grandson smiles at me.  Of course I love all of that, but the absolute best part of becoming a grandparent is the chance to do things over, and better, than I did with my own children.

I had my children when I was still young, struggling to find some sort of writing career, and far too worried about what other people thought of me.  (And believe me, when you’re a mother, everyone has an opinion of just exactly how you’re supposed to be raising your children. Which they will share with you.)  At some level, I actually believed that when my children misbehaved or weren’t entirely happy at all times, that had to mean that I was doing something wrong as a mother.  One way or another, I spent way too much time “sweating the small stuff.”

But my children aren’t the only people who have been growing up in the past three decades.  I’ve matured as well, and now have more patience with myself and more tolerance for others.  I no longer care very much about what others think of me, and I have a much better understanding of what is, and isn’t,  worth worrying about.  All of which means that when I look at my grandson, I just see a little person to love and accept for exactly who he is, without all the worry and angst about “doing things right.”

Obviously, it’s not my responsibility to raise my grandson, and I know that his own parents will do a fine job with that.  But even so, whenever I interact with him, I can’t help but notice how much calmer and confident I am compared to how I felt when my own children were small, and how much easier I find it to settle down and simply enjoy holding a baby that I love so deeply.

Life is a journey that can teach us many things if we’re willing to learn.  And if we’re lucky, every once in a while something (or someone) comes along to let us know that we’re moving in the right direction.

87 thoughts on “One More Time

  1. Truly heartwarming Ann. Of course you’re moving in the right direction, you’re on a path full of love, learned lessons and living life to the full with your gorgeous family. Enjoy ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The “do-over” is indeed the best part. And this time, I have nothing more to do that relish the stages of life that my grandsons pass through,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Ann, I agree with everything you said about grandparenthood and would like to add just one other aspect that might throw some additional light on the transformation we are going through as new grandparents. My wife and I noticed a significant change in our attitude, when we went to see our latest granddaughter last month. On the one hand there was a very strong feeling of attachment, joy, and tenderness for the new addition to the family. Yes, indeed we both relished holding and cuddling this sweet little baby in our arms. But when it came to less pleasant moments, the crying, the need to change diapers, etc., then I noticed the satisfying experience, which we never had as parents, that we are not in charge any more. It is rather a feeling of complete detachment from all the obligation of parental duty, which we once felt, when we were parents. Perhaps this is too much of a man’s view, but for once my wife agrees with me on that point. Thank you, Ann, for another thought-provoking post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Actually, I think you are right, Peter! One of the reasons we can enjoy our grandchildren so much is that they are not our responsibility, the way our own children were. (Although I am in awe of the people who, for one reason or another, are actually raising their grandkids. That’s a huge thing to take on at our phase of life!) But for now we just get to love them, and then hand them back to their parents!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. told ya!!! told ya!!! lol! There seriously are just no words – you have to experience it. and it is so wonderful to enjoy it with the confidence we have now to know what really is important ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hooray, Ann. You have filled me with a great deal of hope. I don’t know whether I will ever have grand-children, and I feel much trepidation about it because I was not a terrific mum for much the same reasons that you mentioned. So it is good news that the little one has brought you so much joy and contentment.

    Liked by 3 people

    • The joy of grandchildren is that all of that all of your experience in being a mother will come in very handy, but you will also find that you are more patient and confident now than you were when you were young, and that allows you to enjoy them so much more. I really do hope you get to experience this!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Ann you are creating and making explicit those special moments and being a role model, you are showing so many positive parenting skills and behaviour without having to give that dreaded advice we all could have done with but didn’t want to hear!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is such a heartwarming lovely post about being a grandparent! I have that still to look forward to one day as none of my sons have kids yet. I am still recovering from the responsibility of being a mom 24/7 so this new role sounds perfect!

    Peta

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I love how you have described so eloquently the pure joy & love that comes from our grandchildren. I often think that in many ways, it is no different than trying to describe what it feels like to become a parent. Until you experience it, you cannot truly understand the impact it has on our lives. Beautifully written Ann!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sadly, we do lose it. We learn to worry about how others will respond to what we say, and we learn to try to show only parts of ourselves to other, the parts we think will be accepted. Children have so much to teach us….

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  9. I’m with you, Ann. Most of us have matured quite a bit by the time we become grandparents, when we’re ready to provide that secondary stable and calming presence for our grandchildren. Embracing that role is something that you don’t fully understand until you’re suddenly there! I’m happy for you; it’s a great place to be.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Very true. Life can teach us many things. Though there might be plenty of hardships. But at the end of the day it’s we who are benefited by it. Cause the impression left by those will help us gain more experience and act like mature in future.

    Also, it really feels good that you’re loving your role as a grandparent. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, even life’s toughest moments have something to teach us, and I do think that as our bodies mature, so do our personalities, if we’re open to personal growth. As for grandkids, they sort of make all my wrinkles and sags worth it. I’m very happy with one, but I’ll gladly take a couple more! Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. What a beautiful view of grand parenting…I definitely sweated the small stuff way too often and played the blame game and worry of others opinions…yes, you’re right, we grow right along with our kids!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m so happy for you, Ann! It must be wonderful to be a grandmother. Your grandchild is so lucky to have you. My son and daughter-in-law are in the process of buying a house, thankfully, in the same town as us. I’m hoping a grandchild will come after…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love your last sentence. So comforting, true and reminder to “have faith.” I can imagine, if I ever have grandchildren, feeling the way you do. The only thing I worry about is, when I raised my kids I was always afraid they’d get hurt. I’d often say, “Be careful!” or “Don’t fall!” Stuff like that. I hope I can let go of that anxiety if I have grandchildren.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. My Dad always said ~ If I knew they (grandchildren) were going to be this much fun I would’ve had them first.

    And my Mom says for my Dad it was like having me back as a child and he was able to enjoy it because he wasn’t working all of the time. I am so thankful to have given him that.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. “Life is a journey that can teach us many things if we’re willing to learn.” I love the many many ways life offers us these lessons, sometimes through circumstances, sometimes through experiences, and so very often through the people with whom we are blessed to interact.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Growth isn’t easy to measure when it is small steps over a lifetime. How wonderful that you could acknowledge your growth as you embrace this new little life.
    I hope I get this opportunity in the future. It sounds like an amazing experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you do, too, Ali! It’s not only wonderful, but it does provide a measuring tool for just how much we have grown and matured as we’ve aged, and that is a good thing. Almost makes all those sags and bags worth it….LOL! (Actually, it does make them worth it!)

      Liked by 1 person

  17. What a nice post. I agree, and can relate, with many of the things you said. My oldest granddaughter just graduated from high school. I remember when I learned that my daughter-in-law and son were expecting her, and thinking that I was too young to be a grandmother. But it was love at first sight when I saw her. And those feelings haven’t changed in 18 years–they’ve only became more meaningful. And not just with her, but with the others that followed.

    Liked by 1 person

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