The day is getting closer. Soon I will be a grandma. What kind of grandmother will I be, I wonder.
When I was a girl my grandparents lived on the other side of the country. I was in Ottawa, Ontario and they were on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia and in southern Alberta. Travel then was more daunting then than it is today. So, I saw them rarely and when I did it was a very special occasion. I knew them; I was aware of them but had no day-to-day connection. I have poignant memories of very specific times. Maybe because they were rare they stay with me, alive and real.
When I was in my teens I lived near my paternal grandparents and experienced having these older folks in my life.
My children had no grandparents. My parents died when I was a child and my husband’s parents died when he was a young man. We never met each other’s folks.
So I have been interested in hearing from all my friends and colleagues about grandparenting.
And they all agree on one thing. It is the greatest experience in the world. My sister says that I will experience the “moment” and she says I will know it when it happens. I can hardly wait.
On the topic of the day-to-day reality the stories and advice range all over the map.
On the one hand I have been told to drop all possible gigs for the next year and on the other to protect my time and only be with the grandkids when I feel like it. Talk about ridiculous to ridiculous.
This has been good news for me, because it says, be the grandparent you want to be. There is no template.
I will make my role an ongoing, open and honest conversation with my children. They will tell me what works and what doesn’t and I will respect that. I will tell them what works and what doesn’t and they will respect that.
I loved parenting my children. I will love being grandma.