What Kind of Grandma will you be?

The other night my sister came over to the house to play with the kids. As a commercial airline pilot with no children, she actually has a lot of free time.

During her stay she helped out with my daughter’s science experiment while I cooked pasta and salmon. And she took all the kids outside while I enjoyed the peace and quiet.

After a couple of hours and a tasty dinner, she said she had to go shampoo her carpet. She said that she did it every 2 weeks.

I laughed inside as I thought about how we had lived in our home for 2 years and hadn’t cleaned the carpet once.  I thought, man, that is not how I would like to be spending my time. It just wasn’t that important to us amidst all the other priorities. But then again, she had a lot of free time, and I did not. What different lifestyles we led.

As I lay on the couch the next day after conquering nap-time, I looked over at our entryway. Twenty pairs of shoes littered the floor. I glanced at the stairway a couple feet away, and saw the dirt tracks from children who forgot to take shoes off, or parents who inevitably forgot something on the way to swim class we were already late to.

I made an honest assessment: my house was messy, disorganized, and dirty in one room or another most of the time. I really do think it’s important to teach our children to do chores, but there is a steep learning curve with small children. But I thought, one day it won’t look like this. It will be as tidy as my sister’s, who doesn’t have any kids.

But then won’t the grandkids come?

What would it be like when we had grandkids? I relished the image of small children running in the house, and me not caring if they made a mess, because it would be one day of the week, and I would clean it up when they left. There is something about stepping into another world that gives you a fresh perspective on your own, even if it is a little messy.  I began to imagine what life with grandkids was going to be like. I wanted to live within an hour to my kids and their kids ideally. I envisioned being able to help my daughters and daughter in law with their children when they are little, as I didn’t have much help when my kids were small. I envisioned my husband and I having our own interests, but our children and grandchildren being very much involved in our lives.

I’m convinced that’s why the old people in the grocery store smile and tell you about their grown kids. It reminds them of another time, and perhaps gives perspective on their present time.

What about you? What do you envision when you become a grandparent? Or perhaps you are already a grandparent and it didn’t quite turn out the way you thought it would. Do tell and please share!


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