The Grandparents Thread

  1. Seems a lot of folks here either have just become, or are about to be, grandparents........so I thought I'd start a thread where we "GrandFolks", new and old, can talk about this incredible role that we get to play.

    I don't know about anyone else, but when I first thought about it a couple of years back when my dd, Amanda, thought she might be pregnant, my initial reaction was YUCK! Grandmas were old and frumpy and they had gray hair and stayed home all the time baking cookies, while I was a forty-something professional woman who had yet to reach the peak of both my career and my earning capacity. (Granted, I have gray hair and lots of it, but nothing a little L'Oreal can't cover; and yes, I wear scrubs to work, and NOBODY looks like a fashion model in those.) Heck, I didn't even want to be called "Grandma"........I wanted a more hip-sounding designation, like Nani or MeeMaw or even Grandy.

    It still makes my head spin to think how fast I accepted the role once my grandson was born. I fell head over heels in love with him the instant I first laid eyes on him, and that love has only grown exponentially in the six weeks since. I dispense advice, cuddles, money, and moral support. I have my house baby-proofed, even though it will be months before he's mobile. I constantly watch the sales for new baby gadgets that weren't even dreamed of when my kids were little. And I even allow myself to be called Grandma (and for that matter, I take enormous pride in it).

    Who knew?

    Of course, there has to be some redefining this role, because I am, after all, a YOUNG grandmother. If I play my cards right I could live long enough to see Eli have children himself, maybe even grandchildren, so I've got a whole new reason to take care of myself better. In addition, my daughter and I have forged a completely different relationship than we had even a year ago; now, we are not only both grown women, we are mothers......and friends. I am SO incredibly proud of her, and to see her mothering her son so lovingly and tenderly helps me to know that I did a decent job of mothering her. But this grandparenting stuff is far more than that.........it's the satisfaction of having come full circle: seeing the work of almost a quarter-century of marriage and children beginning to bear fruit, and oh, how sweet it is.
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   jnette
    Wonderful idea, Marla. The Grandparent Thread.

    I'm sure it will be well posted.

    And perhapos some lucky day... far, far away............. ... I might even get to be a part of it.

    Until then, I'll just share your joy.
  4. by   Spidey's mom
    May I just say that don't ever underestimate the role of grandparents in a child's life.

    My own grandma, the one who called me stevielynn, had such a huge influence on me.

    Marla - you've defined the role perfectly. It is the way it used to be when families stayed geographically closer.

    Kudos to all you grandparents out there, who make it a point to stay involved in your grandchildren's lives.

    steph
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    I think Baby Boomers will redefine grandparenting, just as we have our other roles in life.

    Call us self-involved, call us materialistic, call us whatever you will.........we've spent our entire lives breaking the rules and making things up as we go along, and that will undoubtedly include aging. So far, we're pretty much having to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into late middle age, and we're not going to go gently into that good night.........we're hanging on to every last bit of youth as long as we possibly can.

    Which is why we're going to be very different grandparents from the ones we knew and loved. Back when we were young, our grandparents were usually white-haired, glasses-wearing, rocking-chair-occupying elders who showed their love for us by baking cookies or teaching us to fish. Nowadays, we're more likely to take our grandchildren to Europe than to church, and we're generally in better physical shape so we're apt to get down on the floor and play with them instead of bouncing them on our knees. We're also living much longer, so five-generation families will become more common as we see our grandchildren become grandparents themselves.

    It sounds like a GREAT future. I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to it.
  6. by   live4today
    Ummm....Gramma Marla.....I know EXACTLY what your avatar under your name implies. Nice way to put it, too.

    Ahhhhhhhhhh yes....being a grandmother myself, I totally relate to the elated feelings they bring into a grandparent's life. I've been made a gramma twelve times over (ten biologically/two stepped into the family by marriage)

    At least you made it into your 40's before becoming a grandmother. I was all of 38 when my first grandchild (a male) was born. My dd#1 was 20 years old. When she told me that she and hubby were expecting a baby, I had mixed feelings about it. For one, she was active duty Army and so was her dh. The Gulf War was going on then, so quite naturally I didn't feel too good about her and her dh being active duty with a baby on the way.:uhoh21:

    During dd#1's pregnancy, I used to talk to her belly telling the "baby" that I was really his/her gramma, but he/she was to call me auntie when in public so no one would know that I -- at 38 -- was a gramma. My dd said to me, "Mom, you aren't ashamed to become a gramma, are you?" I replied, Ummm...yeah! No one ASKED me if I was READY to become a YOUNG Gramma!

    When I went to the bookstore to buy her and her girlfriend (also active duty and pregnant) a baby book, the salesgirl asked me if she could help me. I said, well, I'm not sure what to buy. She asked, "Who is the gift for?" I said (LYING), my uh...my girlfriend is having a baby. Shame on me, huh?

    Well.........all it took was for me to lay eyes on that precious little bundle of joy, and all of a sudden, the word "gramma" was music to me ears. It only bothered me sometimes -- like when out in public with my dd and the baby because she and I looked exactly like sisters (not mother and dd), and to see the looks on people's faces when they learned I was NOT the baby's mother, but the grandmother just made me beam with pride for looking so young, yet feel like hiding because everyone around me heard I was a grandmother.......and I was ONLY 38 mind you ........but over time, I adjusted to my new role as grandmother, and being referred to as "the grandmother".
  7. by   Audreyfay
    :innerconf <-----Audreyfay green with envy. Kind of like always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Have a daughter who is married and wants her tubes tied. Says, "don't want to be a mother."
  8. by   live4today
    Quote from Audreyfay
    :innerconf <-----Audreyfay green with envy. Kind of like always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Have a daughter who is married and wants her tubes tied. Says, "don't want to be a mother."
    ((((((((((awww...don't cry Audreyfay)))))))))) If dd doesn't change her mind, you can always be "Gramma" to many children who don't have one. Who said it had to be "biological" anyway. No one I know. :icon_hug: :flowersfo
  9. by   sirI
    oh, marla. a perfect thread.



    those babies. those sweet innocent things. (i am starting to cry just thinking about them).



    i miss mine so much right now.



    luke is 6 years old. a good boy, he is. beautiful blond hair like his dad. gorgeous dark brown eyes like his mommy. he can memorize a bible verse better than anyone i know. he asked his mommy one day, "mommy, i know my frog died....(she found the frog dead just before they left to go to town and had to tell him. she just left the frog in the glass box. it was dead).........but, mommy, can't jesus bring my frog back to life?" she was shocked by this remark. had no clue how to answer him. she replied, "well, luke, jesus can do anything. but, ...... well, luke i guess he could." they returned home. luke went to the frog box .... looked in and exclaimed, "mommy!!!!!! the frog is not dead. it is alive!!!!!" she was perplexed???? that frog was dead!!! luke looked up at her and said in such an all knowing and trusting little voice, "that jesus ......... he's tricky!!"

    i remember when my oldest dd told me she was gonna have him. i was shocked and........:imbar ashamed :imbar to admit it.......angry . i did not know why. selfishness?? i am still ashamed to admit it to this day. sharing this with everyone here, i suppose you will think less of me, but, it is the truth.....


    angry now? oh, my, no. not in the least. and, i was not angry with her. i was angry with me.



    i think i was scared, too. scared of what she was to endure in childbirth. scared of complications. why? i did this for a living. why be scared of this? because i knew that at the least expected time, anything could happen and i would lose everything i loved most.



    that is why i was angry.



    chi chi :kiss was next. she is almost 2 years old now. a sweet heart of a babe. the only grand daughter. likes to eat dog food. ugh!! she looks exactly like my dd. the sweet, perfect, tiny mouth. the soft, black hair. gorgeous eyes. unblemished skin. my chi chi.:angel2:

    and, now there is seth. he is 17 months old. my youngest dd son. he is soooo much different than luke. it is remarkable. my sweet, precious baby grandson. he likes to play in the garbage. he calls his kitty "no no". sandy haired lover.

    i love those babies with all my heart and soul and mind. never a day goes by that i do not think of them. look at their pictures and just drool.

    i know that god gave me these precious little ones. i thank him everyday. i am sooo lucky.

    thank you, marla.
  10. by   NursesRmofun
    gosh, little did i know i would be on an internet grandma thread when i was "hanging out" in the 70's, listening to music, thinking of my boyfriend constantly.....lol!lol! but here we are, grandma's and some grandpa's? lol. thanks for starting this thread, marla....
    i feel good about it. i am still a little shocked by it, but happy and love cuddling him! he's my first and i will have at least one or two more though i have but one daughter (one child)....looking forward to many grandma moments!

  11. by   CseMgr1
    My best friend, who I have known since the seventh grade and is the same age as me, has two grown kids...neither of which are serious about anyone and are not looking. To make matters worse, her youngest child just moved out a couple of months ago, and she is grieving. I don't think I helped things very much either, when I called her last Wednesday night and told her that I had become a grandmother for the third time. "I don't think I am ever going to become a grandmother", she told me, sounding very sad. Nevertheless, she made it well known how happy she was for me and that she would be sending Baby Noah a gift very soon.

    That is one of many reasons our friendship has lasted 42 years. A TRUE friend, indeed!
  12. by   CseMgr1
    Quote from stevielynn
    May I just say that don't ever underestimate the role of grandparents in a child's life.

    My own grandma, the one who called me stevielynn, had such a huge influence on me.

    Marla - you've defined the role perfectly. It is the way it used to be when families stayed geographically closer.

    Kudos to all you grandparents out there, who make it a point to stay involved in your grandchildren's lives.

    steph
    I credit my late grandmother (my mother's mother), for introducing me to the very word "Nurse" when I was seven years old. She had broken her leg, and was sitting up in one of those huge "Civil War" wheelchairs, her casted leg propped up on a pillow. As I "waited" on her, bringing her things, she stopped me long enough to tell me: "You'll make a good nurse". "What's that?", I asked, frowning. "A Nurse waits on sick people", she replied, smiling.

    From that day forward, I knew exactly what I wanted to be, when I grew up!
  13. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from CseMgr1
    I credit my late grandmother (my mother's mother), for introducing me to the very word "Nurse" when I was seven years old. She had broken her leg, and was sitting up in one of those huge "Civil War" wheelchairs, her casted leg propped up on a pillow. As I "waited" on her, bringing her things, she stopped me long enough to tell me: "You'll make a good nurse". "What's that?", I asked, frowning. "A Nurse waits on sick people", she replied, smiling.

    From that day forward, I knew exactly what I wanted to be, when I grew up!
    My "Nana" was instrumental in my becoming a nurse as well. She was a nursing student during World War I, but never finished her training as she met and married my grandfather (in those days nurses had to be single). Still, she instilled in me a love of the 'healing arts', as she called it, and we used to spend hours and hours reading books about the human body and memorizing the names of the different parts........I've known there were 206 bones in the body since I was old enough to read! :chuckle

    She passed away in the summer of 1972. I was 13 then; but by the time I graduated from high school, I'd already decided I didn't have the smarts to become a nurse---I was terrible at math, and science just confused me. My best friend and I had both wanted to be Navy nurses, but while she went on to become a ward clerk as her first step toward her goal, I got married, had babies, and never again thought about becoming a nurse until just before I got pregnant with my last child in 1990. I'd heard the local community college had a good nursing program, and I toyed with the idea again only to drop it when I became pregnant. It took a devastating job loss (my husband's) and a few months on welfare to kick-start me into going after my dream and fulfilling the long-ago aspirations Nana had for me. The night I graduated from nursing school, I remember going outside to look up at the stars and thanking her for helping me accomplish it, because I'd felt certain all along that this was what I'd been meant to do, and that she'd had a hand in it.

    I still feel that way.
  14. by   cwazycwissyRN
    What a crew of wonderful grandparents out there! Last thing I was thinking about in the 70's too!! :spin:
    When my grandson was three the preschool teacher told him his "grandma is going to pick you up today. He put his hands on his hips and loudly announced " I do not have a grandma..... I have a na na Chrissy. :angel2: He is such an angel. tee hee

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