On Tuesday's post about not having borne children and therefore having an old age without grandchildren, Karen Swift mentioned this in her comment:
”My first grandchild will arrive in November...I have been thinking a lot about exactly what kind of grandmother I want to be. Did any of you think about that ahead of time? I don't think I want to leave it up to my instincts!”
What an interesting question. Enough so that it was rolling around in my head when I woke way too early Wednesday morning (2:30AM) unable to go back to sleep. It has never occurred to me before that one might plan grandparenthood.
As I tried to wonder what kind of grandmother I might have become, the first image that popped into my head was Auntie Mame.
Or, maybe, something like my great Aunt Edith who was the closest thing I had to a grandmother.
She was 15 years old when she left home to join a traveling dance troupe, became a successful business woman, dressed oh-so elegantly, took me to fancy restaurants – just the two of us – listened when I talked and made me feel like I could grow up to be anything I wanted.
Then I realized she had some crucial experience I lacked: although she never married, she raised my father, her nephew, from the time he was 10 years old.
I suspect to be any good at grandparenting, one needs to have had some reasonably close knowledge of what kids are like and my experience is, essentially, zero.
So today, I am leaving Karen Swift's question up to you, dear readers, who are grandparents (that means men too). Soon-to-be parents make all kinds of preparations for the birth of their babies. Does grandparenthood need planning too?
Did you think about what style you'd take on? Or did you just follow your instincts? Did your children lay down any rules for you?
Our world has changed so much in the past two, three, four decades; does that make relating to young children today different from when you were raising your own? If so, how?
Let us know along with anything else that comes to mind that you think would help out Karen Swift.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Marcy Belson: Dear Dairy