Yesterday I was talking with friends when one of them, whose son is getting married soon, said, “It's too early for me to be a grandma – I'm not ready for that yet!”
I laughed, remembering a time when I felt the same way.
In fact, I'm often surprised to realize I'm a grandma now.
I think that's because often, we don't feel our age. Oh, we might feel a little stiff when we kneel out in the garden too long, or when we stay up too late the night before but when I stop to think of it, I've always felt stiff when I knelt too long in the garden, and I've never been good at staying up too late.
What does it mean to be a grandmother?
For me, it's opportunities.
As a grandma, I have the opportunity to serve my family. Some of my children seek my advice or ask about my experience. Some of my children ask for help in practical ways, with child care or help with a sick child. Some of my children just want someone to share their joy.
I can do those things.
I also have the opportunity to pass on to my grandchildren some of the things I think are important: faith. Family history. Family artifacts (yes – stuff!)
How to bake a pie, or sew on a button, or plant a flower bed.
Being a grandma is really a continuation of being a mom – many of the tasks are similar, but not as constant or intense. There are exceptions, of course, but many of the skills I honed as a mom are the same ones I call on as a grandma. And many of the pleasures I enjoyed as a mom are the ones I enjoy as a grandma – cuddling a child on my lap. Reading together. Sharing a laugh over something silly.
We may think we aren't ready to be grandmas, but the truth is, we've been getting ready for the job since we first became moms.