“Come to gram, sweetheart.”
I have to be honest, those words probably weren’t what I said to my first grandbaby when he was handed to me, but that’s okay. The thought was there somewhere I’m sure. I’m not much of a baby person, never have been, much to the bewilderment of my daughters-in law.
Now I’ve established that I’m not your typical grandmother. I do have white hair (a genetic inheritance from my father who was snow white by the time he was 40), but I initially had a hard time even referring to myself as ‘gram’. Even now I’m not quite sure who it is that I’m talking about when I hold my running conversations with my 2 year-old grandson.
I also do crafts — on a good day lots and lots of knitting crocheting and quilting — but very little of it makes it to the hands of my children and grandchildren. Again, not quite typical grandmotherly behavior but then I’m not exactly sure any more what a typical grandmother looks like any more.
Everywhere my husband of 42 years and I look there’s another grandparent, taking a toddler to the park or the doctor’s office, on walking trails pushing a jogging stroller or biking with baby in a trailer behind. I’m sure there are loads more grandparents that I don’t see daily, sitting at home working on a blanket or wooden toy for the newest arrival, or the one that is anticipated. Perhaps they are having coffee with friends, pulling out pictures of the newest baby and sharing them.
Today grandparents are just as likely to be the primary caregivers of a grandchild rather than an infrequent visitor. My husband and I moved 3,500 miles — give or take — to be closer to our first grandbaby. Now on the opposite coast of North American, grandbaby #2 has arrived. Naturally the burning question of the moment is — do we stay and enjoy every moment of the toddler time we spend enjoy weekly, or pack up and head back home in order to get to know our new granddaughter?
What would you do?