By Pamela Loxley Drake
The last of my grandchildren turned three yesterday. The last of them. I have four grandchildren. My children will have no more babies. I remember when my daughter came to tell me that she was pregnant with Sydney, the first. The news frightened me. My daughter and her husband lived on a shoestring. They were young and just starting out. They lived in a low income apartment and now were expecting my first grandchild.
It’s amazing the way we change into this new role of grandparent that comes to us not by choosing but by an unexpected announcement. I hadn’t really thought to be a grandma. I was having a career and dating. Not my typical vision of a grandma. I wasn’t ready for diapers and babysitting. I wasn’t ready to be called Grandma.
But we don’t get that choice do we? I didn’t get a chance to say, “I’m not ready yet.” In the matter of moments I aged. I didn’t know what to say. My daughter was upset that I wasn’t overjoyed. My stomach hurt, and I was truly filled with worry for all of us.
Well, that a little over 16 years ago. I grew into the role. It happened when I saw Sydney born. As with the Grinch, my heart had grown that day. Then came Gabby. Such a joy and a delight. I was content and thrilled to have so much time with them. James took a long time with career and travel and finding that right woman. Now the twins are 3. There will be no more grandchildren. This is the end of the line. Hopefully, it will be a few years until I’m greeted with the next announcement.
Yesterday we celebrated twins birthdays. They are no longer babies. Independent little spirits, they entertain and continually wrap my heart around their little fingers. I realize that the future will bring many more changes. These children grow so quickly. So quickly that I barely have time to capture it all.
For those of us who are grandparents, we are truly blessed. We have been given a gift beyond anything we could possibly have imagined. The fears we might have felt along the way have taken a backseat to the immense joy we have been given. I have been a daughter, a wife, a mother and a grandma in my lifetime. I have been niece, cousin, granddaughter, sister, aunt and even great aunt. There is none greater or more powerful than Grammy or MeMe. It is during this time that I have learned more about love and understanding. A time when I have learned more about compassion and forgiveness. My grandchildren love me with all my weaknesses and failings. They tell me every day by reaching out to hold my hand or as my teenagers do, they still lay their heads in my lap wanting their grandma to stroke their brows. The little ones grab my hand and take me to their next adventure. They embrace me, not because they have to, but because they love me.
Just call me Grandma.