Sunday, 1 November 2015

Fresh Eyes, Love, Laughter and Fun - What being a Grandparent means

Fresh Eyes, Love, Laughter and Fun

A mother becomes a true grandmother the day she stops noticing the terrible things her children do because she is so enchanted with the wonderful things her grandchildren do. ~Lois Wyse

I’ve travelled the road of “stay at home mum” with two toddlers. I’ve also run full steam along  the road of “working mum”, with two school aged children, a dog, two cats, two guinea pigs, a mouse and a lamb………all things I’m sure a lot of mums and dads can relate to!  All up, a busy life! 

Now, I’m a “stay at home grandmother”, Janny.  To my delight, my grandkids love calling me Janny or Jan Jan and even my children have taken to calling me Janny.  The name was chosen because of my attitude to becoming a grandparent……”not ready yet guys!!   I’m still feeling too young to be called Nana or Granma” but I love the name Janny, and how it sounds when the grandchildren talk to me. 
Looking back at watching my children grow, I realize that those years past by all too quickly.  Life was a blur, the children were constantly changing bringing new challenges nearly every day.
  
Mornings were a juggling act, and as for the rest of the day…..I’m sure I don’t need to spend much time on describing this part of parenting!

 Now, I’m a grandmother!!!!  And the point is?   The point is……. when I hear the reminiscent cliché ……….  “And I wouldn’t change a thing” I wonder how someone could look back over their parenting life and be so sure that they got every little bit of being a parent so right.  I know I didn’t.  As a parent, we are learning every day along with the children and some days all the loving, laughing and fun times are forgotten while you battle with a toddler screaming loud enough to deafen you. 

So, yes there are few things I would change if given the chance but the one that is most strong in my mind is spending more “kid time” with my children.  By kid time, I mean being a child with your child.  Now that I’m a grandparent, I love to act quirky and childish……silly even.  Why is it you have to wait until your body is starting to crack up to be a kid again.  Being a kid to me is …Saying silly stuff (something that comes a bit too naturally to me!), playing mud pies and getting dirty rolling down a hill.  Yes, I have rolled down a hill with one of my grandsons and he laughed and laughed and thought it was hilarious to see his Janny clumsily bumping her way thru the grass, down the slope. 
When I had my first child at 20 years old, I think I was still growing up myself. 

I was too busy learning to be a mum to be a real “kid” with my children.  I had the physical ability, but I missed seeing some of little things that children give, that I see now as a grandmother.  My granddaughter and I have an awesome bond that started as soon as she was born.  Even before she could crawl, I was on the floor next to her, talking and playing at her level.  I’ve tried to keep that up all thru her years, but as she gets older and faster, I’m getting slower, and some of the more rough and physical stuff is becoming less.  However I can still pretend to be a dog with her and give horsey rides even if they are much shorter now. 

I think parents get glimpses of these special moments but need to be reminded to take a break and to be able to step out of their fast, chaotic routines.  Even, for just a short period, to see things thru the eyes of a grandparent and become a kid again.  Remember when, as a parent, you took a night away without the kids and the awesome feeling of love and joy you got from coming home to excited open arms …………

That is what being a grandparent is like! 

It’s, fresh eyes, love, laughter and wonderful childish fun.  

Written by Janice MacKenzie
Mum of two, Janny of four
www.cupofsugar.co.nz



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