When you want a child to be more mature, you commonly say, “Act your age.” This phrase gets a lot of use even for adults, probably mostly for middle aged men who lapse into immature behavior from time to time. But there is a truth behind that little phrase.
For each phase of our lives, there is an expectation of how we will behave. We can refuse to accept those expectations of adult behavior and insist that, “I refuse to grow up.” This is called the Peter Pan syndrome and most people consider it more a sign of desperate clinging to youth than anything noble.
So as you move into the era of your life that is called your golden years, you may realize at some point that you have to “act your age” and start to act like Grandma even if you don’t want to. When that time comes that a senior citizen realizes that they have inherited the role of Grandma but so maybe its time to act like one comes at different times for everyone. But there comes that time to begin to become Grandma for the people who need this of you the most – those sweet grandbabies who need a Grandma just you needed one when you were a little girl.
Just because you are “growing into your rocking chair” doesn’t mean you have taken on the affectations of feeble old woman. The key thing to ask yourself is, “what does it mean to be Grandma and how can I grow into that role for my children and grandkids?”
You didn’t do anything to become a Grandma. You just raised your son or daughter to be a responsible young adult and nature took its course. Before long you got the call that they had a baby. And sometime after that you realized that meant you were a Grandma. So to understand how you can best live up to that high calling, probably the best role model is your own Grandmother and what you needed from her when you were small. Taken in that light, the things those little ones need Grandma for are…
§ To spoil them. This is the fun part of being Grandma. You don’t have to spoil them seriously but what’s the fun of going to Grandma’s house if there isn’t always something fun to do and maybe candy and gum if you’re good? § A place to go. “Going to Grandma’s house” should mean something just this side of going to heaven to your grandkids. And as long as it stays that way, your grandchildren will be able to always come to you even in times of trouble. § Unconditional love. It’s the parent’s job to provide the discipline and rules. Grandma is the one with a ready hug, a loving smile and who always has time to give to her Grandkids § A ready ear. A Grandma is the one that your granddaughter can always pour her heart out to. The sweet face of Grandma and that patience that means you will wait for your grandchild to get out what is on her mind is what makes time with Grandma so precious.
But this is only a starter list of the traits you can nurture in yourself to “become Grandma” to those adorable little ones who are, after all, your grandchildren. You want those little ones to love to come see you. You want them to look forward to playing with the toys you keep around at your house just for them. All this is what it means to become Grandma for them. Oh and just one more thing. Grandma always makes the best cookies. So warm up that oven and get some good recipes because you are that Grandma to them and you always will be.