Just call me Grandma.

Our son and daughter-in-law just had a baby girl – their first child, and our first grandchild. She arrived almost a week past her due date, healthy and perfect. We haven’t seen her yet in person, but we are savoring – and showing off – the photos we’ve received. We can’t wait to visit them, after the new family has had a chance to settle in, get acquainted, and get used to a new life and routine at home.

Most of my friends who are roughly the same age as I am have older grandchildren, so I’ve had a number of people tell me things I already know, but haven’t actually experienced myself. Things like how totally and overwhelmingly grandchildren capture your heart. How much easier it is to be grandparents than parents, because you’re not suffering from sleep deprivation or inexperience the way you were when your own kids were born. And how much fun it is to spend a day with your grandchildren, spoil them rotten, then give them back to their parents so they have to deal with the consequences.

Not that we plan to overload them – I’m already talking plural, of course, even though my first and only grandchild is less than a week old  – with sweets and junk food, or get them so wound up when they’re with us that they’re keyed up and cranky when they go back to their parents. Besides, it’s at least a few years before they reach that level of development anyway. Still, I want it on record – assuming my son and daughter-in-law will read this at some point – that we intend to be model grandparents, following all house and parental rules and guidelines for the care and feeding of any and all grandchildren they bless us with.

It’s times like this when I wish more than ever that our family wasn’t spread out in different parts of the country. I remember my own childhood, when one set of grandparents lived across the street and two houses up the hill from us, and the other grandparents lived only a few miles away. There were plenty of aunts, uncles, and cousins nearby as well.

But that was then, and this is now, so I won’t waste time or energy dwelling on how things used to be. Instead I’ll look forward eagerly to the future – to seeing our granddaughter as often as we can. To welcoming any other grandchildren that come into our lives. And to enjoying every precious moment we have together.

A new life – our granddaughter – has just come into the world. A new way of life is just starting for her parents. And a new role is just beginning for me. One filled with joys and discoveries and delights like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.

So please accommodate me when I share her stories. Please excuse me when I gush about her giggles. Please understand when I marvel at her milestones.

And please – just call me Grandma.

January 18, 2019
©Betty Liedtke, 2019

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