There’s something about that moment you hold your first grandchild. Just when you thought you knew everything about being a parent and bringing a new baby into this world, you are then handed that first grandchild,…and everything changes. It’s different. Everything feels very different. It’s almost surreal. A love you didn’t know before.
I know from being a mother, that has given birth to three children, for obvious reasons it feels different.
You haven’t just spent nine months growing a baby inside of you, ( and ALL the things that go with that) and you haven’t spent hours and hours in labor, with the greatest reward having finally given birth.
I know when I was pregnant with my second child, I had a very real fear. After giving birth to my daughter, my first child, I felt no greater love. So, as I became pregnant with my second child, my son, I feared I couldn’t love another child as much as I loved my first. I was terrified. I knew I loved him already, but it wasn’t yet quite like my daughter who was toddling around under my feet and crawling up into my lap. Not until he was born, and placed in my arms, did I truly understand the capacity our hearts have for love. It’s immeasurable. By the time I became pregnant with my youngest daughter, my third child, I was fully aware of how a mother’s love does not have favorites, limits, or can love one child more than another. It is absolutely the most powerful and incredible love in the universe.
Then there are the grandchildren. Specifically, that FIRST grandchild. By no means at all, will I ever love one grandchild more than another, but that first one changed me. I thought it would be like having a fourth child. I knew what it was like to have a new baby in the family. It wasn’t the same. I was a new person now. I had officially become a grandmother, or Nana as I prefer to be called. My heart was overwhelmed. I felt compelled to protect like a mother and grandmother. Protect not only my daughter who had just given birth,but my grandson as well. It’s almost like when you’re playing a video game and you “level up”. I “leveled up” that day. My role became even bigger than I ever imagined! I had spent years trying to be the best mom possible, learning so much along the way. Trial and error. I felt at times, I totally had no clue what I was doing…so I was just “winging it!”. I’m proud to announce, all three children turned out INCREDIBLE! I’m not sure how, but I did it!
Now I was in a whole new category, this new role of Nana. I wasn’t sure what to do. All I knew was, I was a much older, wiser, calmer, patient and “seasoned” person than I was as a parent. Instead of just feeling like I was in “survival mode”, I was in “prepare for the future” mode. I had an overwhelming sense of wanting to teach my grandchild everything I knew. I felt wiser than I was when raising my own children. I wanted to slow down and soak up every moment, instead of just trying to make sure the children were fed, bathed, homework done, and bath time. For once, these issues were not my worries. My daughter and son-in-law were the parents, these were their responsibility.
Nana. What is my role? I get to do a lot of fun stuff, that’s what my role is! Of course, I can, and will discipline if necessary. I incorporate learning in almost everything I do with my grandchildren. My first grandchild, Jack taught me to be that person. Due to divorce, there were periods of time I lived with my daughter and son-in-law for months at a time. Although by society standard today, that’s frowned upon. Everyone is used to living in separate houses. That’s actually a very unnatural way of living. For centuries, and still in many countries, many generations live under one roof. I think this is a beautiful concept! We all lived, worked, loved, nurtured, supported and helped each other. An unbreakable bond, that grew stronger each day. After my second grandchild was born, my daughter and son-in-law made me feel even more valuable. I was there to help cook, clean, bathe the grandbabies and, give much-needed breaks, for date nights, or just sleeping in. I was able to bond with my new granddaughter, Molly, but also still have that special bond with my grandson Jack. Jack and I would play, snuggle, read or watch cartoons, while mom and dad bonded with the new baby. I loved living in the same house as my daughter and son-in-law.
Of course with the birth of Molly, I knew my heart, again had an unlimited space for love. Especially for grandchildren. I only have my two grandchildren, as of now. Maybe I’ll have more in the future, maybe not. Regardless of what my future holds, my sweet little Jack, Jack will always hold that special title as my “first grandchild”. The one that taught me a whole new level of love, and a deeper sense of being. The one that “leveled me up” to this prestigious title of Nana.
“Keeping Grandparenting Glorious!”