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Friday, September 13, 2013

What I learned my first year as grandmother

My little Sweet Potato Autumn is already 1 year old. And this past year has been a whirlwind – moving swiftly and strongly – of… well, life. Surprisingly, having a life that includes a grandchild has been (mostly) easier than I anticipated.

IMG_20120912_111044-1I’m not a grandmother whose child is married and they’re celebrating the birth of their planned pregnancy. I’m the mother of a young college student who is a busy, intelligent and well-rounded person who frequently – or occasionally  – needs her mother’s help. So the news of aforementioned baby didn’t come with all of the bells and whistles right away.

What I’ve learned:

imagejpeg_2_8My daughter is an even better mommy than I anticipated. Amber has always had a special way with children. Ever since she was in elementary school younger children seemed drawn to her. She has turned out to be the “best big sister ever.”

IMG_20121006_193932-1The love from a grandchild is magical. The first time Amber reached for her daughter and she snuggled closer to me instead of going to her mommy gave me such a beautiful and love-tingly feeling. With her little head up against my neck and her arms and legs wrapped as tightly as she can make them… Ahhh is the only thing left to say.

2012-05-16 22.00.00-2-1The ability to return her to her mother is otherworldly. ‘Whew,’ is normally my first thought. Even before she was walking Autumn was a busy baby. Now it’s just a matter of who can get to whatever it is she’s trying to get faster or if she’ll come to you when you call.

Maintaining my relationship with my daughter is more important than disagreeing with her about her decisions or injecting myself where I’m not needed. It’d be one thing if it were just my daughter’s decisions, but it’s hers and her boyfriend’s – Autumn’s daddy. It’s nothing horrid, but at this point in life mommy often still knows best.

Healing my heart as I watch Amber struggle (mostly financially) is an ongoing process. It has been, especially in the beginning, painful to view through her what my life was like when she was a baby.

I am a grandmother, but I will never want to be called grandmother, grandma, nana, granny or any other variation. I’m Gigi.

I’m looking forward to watching the growth of my granddaughter over the next year and for years to come.

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