Thirty-one years ago, when I gave birth to my first daughter, I was in awe of the sweeping, fierce love that consumed me the moment I heard her first cry.
Over the nine months of pregnancy, I had read every book I could get my hands on that would prepare me for being a mother. But nothing could prepare me for the fierce love that filled every breath, every molecule and cell of my being.
Last night, as I lay in bed reading, I searched for books on being a grandmother.
I am beyond excited.
In March of next year, my eldest daughter will give birth to their first child, our first grandchild. A son.
And I feel the stirrings of that fierce love. I feel that yearning to hold him in my arms and protect him and cherish him and nurture him and guide him and show him how incredibly beautiful and strong he is, and how incredibly beautiful he can make the world around him through kindness, dignity, truth and courage.
I want to be the best grandmother I can be, or as we’ve decided I’ll be called, Nona or possibly Lola.
When a child has four sets of grandparents, getting creative with nomenclature is vital! And not being quite sure yet what he’ll call me leaves some of the say up to him — which word is easier to pronounce, which one makes him smile when he says it, or is there a word he’ll choose himself?
When Alexis was a child, the first time she said Grandpa, the name we’d agreed she’d call her paternal grandfather, she said, Bumpa. It became a lovingly appropriate name for gentle Al, her father’s father.
Along with being the kind of grandmother Garfield Jr., as they are calling him in-womb (and no that won’t be his name in-the-world), wants to spend time with, I also want to be the best mother of my grandson’s parents I can be. I want to be intentional in all my actions, words, and thoughts. I want to honour their parenting style, their requests for how he’s taught, how he’s nurtured and cared for. I want to use LOVE in all its encompassing ways. In particular, LOVE as Donne Davis writes in “When Being a Grandma Isn’t So Grand: 4 Keys to L.O.V.E. your grandchild’s parents, as my guideposts.”
L – Learn the parents’ language
O – Own your shared purpose
V – Value the parents’ hard work
E – Empathize. Empathize. Empathize.
As a grandmother, I want to be the person they love to call to share the adventures of their little one, and the rock they lean on when they’re tired, frustrated or just needing to chat about the realities of being a parent today.
I do not want to be over-bearing, over-powering or over-anything that doesn’t bring joy and delight to their lives and the life of their son.
It is a new adventure, this idea/role of being a grandmother. For C.C., there is no role he is more excited about. When Alexis and J called to tell us the grand news, her sister insisted we film C.C. so they could see his face and reaction. It was worth it! Just as being grandparents together will be worth remembering as we journey into this new land together.
Over the moon and into the limitless possibilities of love. That’s where you’ll find me in the coming weeks and months as we journey together with our daughter and son-in-love towards the arrival of their new son.
Gratitude fills my heart. Fierce and wild, it beats a tattoo of Love that fills my world with the song of joy.
And yes, I’ve ordered some books! Time to get honing up on how to be a grandmother who leaves only footprints of love on her grandson’s and his parents’ life.