No matter how tension-fraught the world becomes, there’s always Grandmas

twetty and grannyAs I had coffee with a friend yesterday morning he recounted how his lady-friend is shortly to be a grandmother – for the 2nd time.

:”What is it about women becoming grandmothers?” he queried. “She’s more ga-ga over this pending grandkid than she is about her own children. I mean, she’s just beside herself with excitement.”

Well, I reckon we could go into a lot of psychological motivations and theories here, but I think with a grandmother a woman finally has the freedom to indulge a kid in a manner she couldn’t with her immediate offspring. There is no ‘test’ involved in the case of grandchildren, so they can be spoiled rotten.

I come into this topic with a huge bias. I loved my maternal grandmother arguably more than I ever loved anybody. Certainly more than I loved her daughter – my own mother. As I have mentioned before, she died in an accident when I was 14 and I still miss her.

So yeah, Grandmas are mightily special in the life of a child. When I lived in England in 1980-81 there was a huge musical hit in an item called Grandma We Love You, by the munchkins in the choir of St. Winifred’s School. A silly little throwaway but, in the land of Clapton, the Stones and David Bowie this dumb thing sat on the charts for weeks. Why? Because callous would be the person who didn’t love their grandma.

Who is that wonderfully benevolent cartoon figure other than Grannie, who looks out for the well-being of Tweety Bird? Grannies do that.

Of course, I cannot get used to newfangled grandmothers who are entirely unlike mine. I mean – and I guess that’s from the perspective of age – some of them look like pretty hot babes to me. Grandmas aren’t supposed to be hot babes. They are supposed to smell of lavender and like mine sit by the kitchen stove knitting and reading and certainly never looking like what one would call ‘hot’. She wore Granny clothes and drank tea not martinis. I once spied my grandmother smoking a cigarette at a social gathering. I was rather shocked.

I realized the other day that when my grandmother died she was actually two years younger than I am now. Now that was a wide-awake moment


16 responses to “No matter how tension-fraught the world becomes, there’s always Grandmas

  1. I plan on being your kind of Grandma, Ian, same as mine was! I think it will be a much calmer way to be than being a ‘hot’ Grandma. Surely when one reaches Grandma status, one can just relax and enjoy!!
    Of course I hope that state is not thrust upon me for a few years yet!!

  2. My Nana was a mid-40s working woman with two teen-agers still at home when my mother (barely 21) and I came to live with my grandparents…She wasn’t the grandmother-type you describe until much older, but certainly not the hottie type either. She had a spine of steel and an iron fist in a velvet glove and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt what was expected of me and that she loved me. I miss her.

  3. I only ever had one grandmother that I didn’t get to see that often, as she lived in Alberta and we were here in BC. And I was one of about 25 grandchildren, as my mom has 11 siblings. So I never had any kind of special relationship with my grandma. However, DD and her grandma sure do! It’s pretty amazing to see – even though I’m the tiniest bit jealous!

    • You have written about your mom and I can understand why DD would have a good relationship with her. I never really knew my paternal grandmother very well. She was kind of a chronic invalid and didn’t suffer noisy kids much.

  4. My grandmothers were amazing women. I had three: my maternal grandmother, who died when my mother was only 16, but to whom I have always felt deeply connected; my paternal grandmother, who was the sweetest, most gentle soul I have ever encountered; and my maternal (step)grandmother, who never treated me as anything but hers, as completely as the grandchildren related by blood. My pen name is actually my maternal grandmother’s name. My singing voice comes from my paternal grandmother, My sense of propriety, with a healthy splash of irreverence, comes from my second maternal grandmother. And I have to say, that one was sexy as hell and had legs that went all the way up.

    I am now a grandmother, myself, at 43 and nope, my grandmaternal instincts haven’t kicked in any harder than my maternal ones ever did. Ah well.

    • You lucked out in getting three. As I said earlier, I didn’t much know my paternal grandmother due to her being ill much of the time. And, I think you’re much too young to be sloshing yourself in lavender yet, so don’t worry about those grandma instincts not kicking in yet.

  5. Not just grandma’s…my dad changed a lot when he became a grandpa. As a father, he was strict, never hugged us or played with us. When he had grandchildren, he changed dramatically–he hugged them, read stories to them, played games with them. He was a better father after that, too.

  6. So I keep telling my daughter to get married and have her children now while I am young so that I can look after them and she can go build a career. I CAN’T WAIT for grandchildren. And I want to be a top-knot, Tweety-pie type granny in spirit but although I’ll never be “hot” again, I want people to wander how I can possibly be old enough to be a grandmother….!!! Love your blog, by the way

    • Well, you are obviously going to fully embrace the thing and I can tell by instinct you’ll be one of those legendary grandmothers. Good for you. And thank you so much for the compliment on my blog. Please come by again.

  7. My daughter (my only child) does not want to have children and I am good with that. I don’t get the whole “Yay! I’m going to be a grandma!” thing. But then, I have always been different.

    • Actually, I think your attitude is hugely healthy. I mean, truly I don’t entirely get the bananas grandma thing. And if you’re good with that, that is all you need.

  8. Never having had kids, I’ll never be a grandma – and like Geewits, I’m good with that.

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