I feel too young to be a nana. Nanas or grandmas, whatever you choose to call them, are old and grey – in my mind anyway. My grandmothers were both old and grey, and I loved them both dearly when they were alive.
One was a “nanny” and one was a “jonnie” (a name that stuck when one of my cousins was unable to pronounce grandma). One lived in Portland,Oregon in the USA, and the other lived on the east coast of Australia. In other words, they were both long distance grandparents. I hated that they were both so far away.
I became a nani on the 27th June of this year, yet I don’t feel old, and I’m not grey (a few strands don’t count do they?).
When I first found out that my son and his fiancé were expecting a baby – way back in November last year — I can honestly say I was horrified, no, maybe not horrified, but deeply concerned that they were both so young.
This is a very hypocritical opinion for me, given that I was two years younger than my future daughter-in-law is now when I first became a mother. I was still worried about how they would cope and slightly concerned about being a nani/grandma at such a young age, but at the same time I was also excited.
These are probably all the same emotions that my mother experienced when she first became a grandma, which ironically was at the same age as what I am – 39.
Sunday morning June 26th came the phone call that my grandson was on his way. This news had me bounding out of bed and had me walking around with a permanent grin on my face that day. Bounding out of bed at any time is quite a feat because I’m not (and never have been) a morning person.
Sunday ended up being the longest day of my life because he didn’t choose to arrive until the early hours of Monday morning. This meant that I didn’t get into the hospital to see him until the Monday night after work, Monday was consequently the second longest day of my life.
How do you describe becoming a nana/grandma for the first time? I was so excited, I was proud, I was besotted. At the same time he wasn’t personally mine, and I felt like I was on the edge looking in. It’s a bizarre feeling, an amazing amount of love for a little being that you haven’t carried yourself, who’s not yours – but who owns your heart.
My greatest fear as a mother of three boys was that I would never have the opportunity to be close to my grandchildren. I would never have the opportunity to guide my daughter through pregnancy and motherhood. What if I didn’t like any of my sons’ partners, or worse, what if they didn’t like me? Maybe these are irrational thoughts, but they’re real in my mind.
My future daughter-in-law is a sweetheart, and I love her dearly. She’s one of the family, she asks me questions, she freely shares my grandchild with me ,and for that, I am eternally grateful. I got lucky with this one, and yet I still have two more sons to get through. There are still two more potential partners to like and be liked by.
Age is irrelevant in all of this because both my son and his partner have astounded me with their parenting ability. This is the son who caused me some of the most worrying years of my life as we circumnavigated the teenage years. He was a horror who made me cry myself to sleep on more than one occasion and who caused me so much angst.
To see my son in his role as a father is the most incredible feeling. It’s also made me realise that I’m not too young to be a grandma/ nana, no more than I was too young to be a first time mother 23 years ago at the tender age of 17.
Our parenting ability is not measured in years on this earth, but in the love in our hearts and the pride in knowing we’re doing a fantastic job of raising amazing human beings.
Are you ready to become a grandparent? Are you a grandparent — share your thoughts!
This is an original World Moms Blog post by Inspiration to Dream of Adelaide, South Australia. Fiona is the writer of Inspiration to Dream and can be found writing or reading in every spare moment that isn’t filled up with work, her three boys, her new grandson and of course with a bit of spare time thrown in for hubby as well.
Photo credit to the author.