Your personality will change.You will be vulnerable again—you have fallen in love, and love makes you a wreck. They say you can never be happier than your unhappiest child, and it’s true of grandchildren as well. Your edges soften. You cry more at movies. You freak out about their safety. You call your daughter at 3 a.m. to ask casually if the baby is still breathing. You give their mother every kind of smoke alarm they make, until she starts returning them to you
You will feel like a parent toward them, but you don’t get to be the parent.Your daughter gets to pick up the crying baby even if you’re closer. You now have a valuable, irreplaceable vase that someone else carries from place to place.
Your daughter will need you, depend on you, and be enraged by the gentlest tip on how to take care of a baby—“I found that holding them upside down like that was not a good idea in the long run... “
Your grandchild’s mother will not even want to use her ratty old crib for her new baby, even though you’ve lovingly saved it in the basement for just that purpose all these years.
You don’t have to entertain them.Let their parents worry about classes and flute lessons and museum outings. It’s the in-between moments that count. Have them do whatever you’re doing—going to the bank, painting a wall, trying to fix an iPhone. I still treasure the memory of my granddaughters helping me paint while wearing their red velvet Christmas dresses, and the time the three of us learned the Macarena from a YouTube video.
You find yourself turning into an awful liar.Lies pour smoothly from your mouth...
“My car won’t start. Guess the kids will have to stay here tonight.”
“I let her use her iPod touch only for the half-hour before dinner.”
“No, I would never read Junie B to the kids after you told me not to. “
You will wish you didn’t have to lie. But you also really want to read them Junie B.
You will miss your own grandmother.Shortly after my first granddaughter was born, I came across the black-and-white photograph of my other grandmother, Vera Monnier. She’s tall with her hair in a bun, and looks Germanic and stolid, which is odd, as my father had painted a much different picture of a flirty, wild, smart Vera.
She was my father’s mother. I never met her. Her heart stopped at 27, gone way too young. For the first time, staring at the photo, I felt something shift within me. That is my grandmother. She and I had the same connection to each other that Ryan and I do.
Yet I will never even know what she looks like in color.
Other supposedly sublime experiences pale in comparison.A stroll on the beach in the moonlight? The sand is cold and you can’t see what you’re stepping on... was that a crab?
Learning Italian? Overrated. You have to fly 5,000 miles to find someone else who speaks it (or go to a lot of Italian restaurants), and that Italian person will want to practice their English on you anyway.
Nature? Overuse of the color green. Hard to get a cell service. No toilets.
Nope! I'll take my granddaughters any day of the week.
Grandkids bring you into a sweeter, slower present.They show you the future at a time when a lot of your friends are thinking about the past. And they take you back to childhood—theirs, the parent’s, your own: three-time admittance to a wonderland.One of the jobs of grandchildren is to slow you down. To get you to drive to Marin county on a gorgeous afternoon, and taste the sweetness of a leftover lunch banana, and to remind you that a yellow ball produced from a sleeve is magic, every time.
You’ll be lusted after again.In this busy world, a hands-on grandmother is a hot ticket. A rock star. (I think there’s actually a website where you can rent one for the day.) One day at my granddaughter’s gymnastics class I mentioned to a young mother I’d been chatting with that I always brought her to class. A look of yearning came over the woman's face. “I wish my mother would help me out like that. But she works, and even if she didn’t, I’m not sure she’d be interested,” she said wistfully.
Author: Adam Lara grandparenting.com