This “grand-motherhood” business is not as easy as it seems. I certainly was not prepared for the emotional, intellectual and (dare I say it?) spiritual implications of this new position in life.
In my innocence, I simply thought that I would have a new family member to love, cherish and spoil, that he probably would be “just a little bit special”, e.g. dearer to me than say my little nephews - as this new child would be “closer” in linage than they are. In other words, my thinking was all logic, and I did not have a bloody clue! Nothing to prepare me, no one told me otherwise – though I have friends who are already grand-parents, but I was not pointed in the right direction. . . BY THE WAY, thanks for that guys, you could have warmed me!
Of course, when Cathal’s parents told me he was on the way, I have overjoyed, so excited, I could not wait for the birth! I wanted everybody to know, I told whoever would stop long enough to listen that my daughter was expecting MY first grand-child – don’t mind that this was HER first child, the important thing was that this was a new adventure FOR ME. Selfish, I know, but what can you do? That should have been a clue to what was to come, but I did not really see it, did I?
I put a couple of conditions to the “Promotion to the Granny Club” (as I called it). The main one (and I sent an email to this effect to Cathal’s Mammy to make the whole thing official) was that I was not going to change, and would not be your “bespectacled-white-hair-in-a-bun, sit-by-the-fire-knitting” type of granny (not that there is anything wrong with bespectacled-white-hair-in-a-bun, sitting-by-the-fire-knitting grannies, just not my type). I was not going to change and “grown up”, “slow down”, stop enjoying life and going on little adventures anytime I can.
LITTLE DID I KNOW!
The promotion brought with it changes that I never imagined, so subtle, yet so powerful! I have changed my perspective on so many things - to name just a few:
- Grandchildren – they are not just new family members! They are so much more, as important as your own children.
- “Mental Disability” – I had never thought about it, never had to. A new world has been opened up to me by that little extra chromosome.
- The relativity of what is “Normal” – bringing such metaphysic question as “What is Normal?” and “Am I normal?” etc. . . etc. .. etc. . . Head-wrecking!
- Love as an un-exhaustible resource - I had not realised I still had so much of it in me!
- The miracle workers that keep our children’s hospitals going.
And so much more, I better stop here, I could be typing this entry all night!
Over the next entries on my blog I aim to explore what I have lived through in the last 5 months since Cathal’s birth, and update it with any new event.
I hope that it might be interesting to any grand-parent who reads it, but also to parents, as it might give them an insight into their own parents’ reaction (…. Am I being very presumptuous here? For you to tell me). And if Cathal ever comes across it, he will see how much I love him, how special he is to me. . . . Dam you, Little Prince, you have changed my life!
The boys enjoying Rathmichael Woods ....
1 year ago