09 August 2008


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.


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!


Cathal's Mammy said...

Thanks nan, I'm in bed at the moment, but Mammy told me all about your blog, it's looking good

Nick McGivney said...

Hah! You tried to make it hard for me to find you, but I got here! I'll be keeping an eye out and telling everyone. Will link you up as soon as possible! Welcome to blogland. It's like Lego only cheaper, and you can make even more interesting shapes.

Bone chance avec le blog, Nan P!

Nick McGivney said...

Bone chance? BONE chance? Excuse moi, s'il te plait. Bone chance indeed. Inexcusable.

Jeffrey Goble said...

" Love as an un-exhaustible resource".
You're already on to the key to it all.
Incredible, yes.