Tuesday, July 5, 2011

conversations with mom

A few weeks ago, before Jessie and the girls visited for ten days of bliss, my mom dropped by.

I don't recall the purpose of her visit, but as usual, we sat down in the front room to chat and Jack joined us. At some point, she looked at Jack and said that she thought I loved my granddaughters more than anyone else.

I said that wasn't true, that while I definitely love my granddaughters a lot, that I love others as well, and while I was looking forward to seeing Jessie's girls, I could hardly wait to see Jessie because I have deeply missed her since they moved to California.


The next day, mom called and said she had been thinking about my comments from the previous day. She said she wanted us to have the same kind of relationship I have with Jessie, that she wanted us to be closer and she wanted me to come visit every week.

Yet another conversation she'd been having in her head for 24 hours, but one that I'd just been included in. I paused, thinking about what she'd just requested, and said that I'd like a closer relationship with her too, which seemed to satisfy her, because she quickly said okay and goodbye.


In the past few weeks, I've thought often about those two conversations and I've wondered why is it so easy to love grandchildren so deeply? And what kind of relationship do I have with my daughter and can I have that with my own mom?

I think the reason why grandkids are so easy to love is because they come into your life at a time when you realize that most things don't really matter, or at least, the things you're responsible for are not critical--at least when it comes to grandkids. My job as a gramma, as I see it, is to love them. Unconditionally. I'm not the mom, the parent, the disciplinarian--I'm the gramma. My own gramma was my biggest cheerleader and becoming a gramma has made it even more clear in my mind just how she felt about me.

I've also thought about how to have the relationship my mom wants to have with me. I think, in a way, she and I have the same relationship--that is, I want to see Jessie every week too.

But that might be where the similarities end or perhaps taper off. I thought my job as a mom was to raise responsible emotionally healthy adults and then let them live their lives as they choose. I suspect my kids get more input from me than they might want at times, but my deepest feeling about them is that they are each adults and they get to live their lives and be in control of themselves. I'm just glad I get to be around to watch and cheer them on.

1 comment:

Joey said...

I never had a cheerleader grandma. But it's a role I am willing to embrace for my little cuties.

As far as relationships with daughters, I think I worked hard to create with my daughters what I could never have with my mom. Thank Heaven for second chances.