I remember laughing at my younger sister, who had married earlier than me and become a grandmother before my two daughters were married. She was ridiculous – a grandmother (MIMI) and just over the top about her granddaughter.
I told her “I will never be like you.”
Well folks, here I am a few years later with four grandchildren and I have to tell you I am ridiculous too. I am now MeMa and love being called that. I am filled with love and pride when one of my grandbabies tears across the room and tumbles into my arms. The words “I love you MeMa,” can bring tears to my eyes. I worry when they are sick, I am afraid they will get hurt, I can laugh and cry with them at the drop of a hat.
It is pure joy and unconditional love on both sides.
The other part of being a grandparent that is so special is seeing your children parenting. I am continually amazed at how intuitive, caring, and loving my girls are as mothers. I am filled with pride and a sense of accomplishment – even though I made mistakes as every parent does – my children have turned out alright and are loving, thoughtful parents and spouses.
My own goal as a parent was that my girls would grow up to be “good, happy” people. I can see that I have achieved that and now I am watching them do the same with their own children.
All I can say is that I loved my children deeply but in a slightly different way. There was always the fear that the mistakes I made as a parent would traumatize them, that they would go the wrong way, that drugs or alcohol would be a hurtful part of their lives, that they wouldn’t somehow meet my expectations, and on and on. As a grandparent those fears as not as prominent – I have to admit they lurk in the background still – but they are just not the focus. Watching, loving, helping and nurturing, laughing, singing silly songs, changing their diapers, kissing and hugging are the things I love about being MeMa. “I love you MeMa,” makes my day.
Diane is Mema to four grandchildren and splits her time traveling between Alaska, Oregon and Virginia. She is retired from a long and successful career in education and her second career is in the summer tourist industry in Alaska. Diane has a passion for the arts and has spent much of her life promoting arts in her community and state and bringing arts into the schools.