Grand-mothering. It's one of my favorite forms of existence; the one among the many that have enriched my life in ways only we grandmothers are privy to. I dare say a library, or even the Blogosphere for that matter, could not possibly contain all the tales and photos we generate.
I didn't know my grandparents. It's the downside to having been born late in life to older parents. By the time I joined the family fray all but one grandparent had passed away. And that one, Annie Clare McFadden-Wells (left, my father's mother) was nearly petrified when finally I did make my appearance.
My one lingering memory of Grandma Annie is that she had big, black, hideously ugly shoes ~ you know the type, the ones most often seen on witches. She didn't live near us so I don't recall any interactions between she & I. No lap sitting. No story telling. No baking. No overnights (with movies & popcorn). No trips to the zoo. No sagas about the olden days. Zilch. Nada. And by the time I was eight she, too, was gone.
Thankfully, like mothering, instincts kick in when one finally does advance to life's grand portions. I have delighted in my role, often having to make it up as I go & relying on those instincts since no role-model patterned it for me.
Were I to paint a self-portrait it would look something like this: the best from my own mothering years laced with hues of Mary Poppins, Marmee (Little Women), Aurora (Terms of Endearment), and my beloved mother. The sassy part came easy.
My husband simply calls me "The Sugarplum Fairy".
A garden of love grows in
a grandmother's heart.
~ Author Unknown
There are things about mothering that I would do differently today if I were starting over. For instance: more patience, fewer rules; more praise, fewer scoldings; more focus on relationships, less vacuuming ... to name a few. In fact, I can't count the times I've said to no one in particular: "If I'd known then what I know now, I would/would not have done thus and so." It's not regret so much as it is reflection.
Since child-rearing do-overs aren't possible, I thank God for the opportunities afforded we grandmothers because of that aforementioned reflection. My favorite? Sprinkling fairy dust, as all good Sugarplum Fairies will do.