As a child, I was envious of those who had multiple grandparents. Except for my mother's mother, all my grandparents were gone before I was born.
Granny B was a huge part of our lives, especially since we lived in her house until I was about 12. She was a constant, almost like another parent. When I heard other kids talk about going to visit their grandparents, I couldn't really relate to their experience. I never had to go to visit. She was just there.
Our eldest grandchild is expecting in February. Our son said, "you know, you will be like Granny B to our grandkids."
That really gave me pause. A great-grandmother. Wow. I mean, I knew, somewhere in the back of my mind, that eventually our grandchildren would have babies, and that would make us great-grandparents, but I wasn't really expecting it this soon.
Not really soon, since Pie is older than we were when we married and started having babies. but soon in terms of being prepared. Or in this case unprepared.
We live a couple of hours away from Pie and her husband, not in the same house. Not even in the same town. How can we be as close to this baby as we were to our grandchildren?
Back then, when the grandbabies were coming along, we all lived in the same town, and saw each other frequently. Most Sundays after church everyone came to our house for dinner and spent the afternoon visiting, and playing with the babies.
My mama lived right down the street, so it was less than a block to walk to her house with the babies. And we all spent hours at the park across the street.
I have already started looking at patterns, getting ready to crochet, or knit, or sew a quilt for the new baby. Pie says maybe we should get a pack-n-play for when they come to visit. I hope they will come often.
To me, three of my grandparents were just a handful of faded pictures, and stories told by my parents, aunts and uncles. I hope we will be much more than that for this baby. So I have been thinking about what is the role of grandparents and great-grandparents. As parents, we bear the full responsibility for bringing up our children. As grandparents, we supplement the parental role, and our role is less about discipline and more about unconditional love. What will we be as great-grandparents? In just a few short months, we will begin to find out.