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Becoming a Grandma in my 30s

I can still remember where I was sitting the day that my daughter called me and told me she was expecting.  I had moved to New York with my second husband and my two younger children.  I remember the feel of the phone against my ear, the sound of the happiness in her voice, the curtains that decorated the windows. I guess that’s how your mind imprints a memory when something important happens. It takes a snapshot of the moment.

‘Wait a minute! She’s only 18’ I thought.  Of course my head knew she was old enough to have a child, but my heart was far from that. I was shocked and asked myself how this little girl had grown up while I hadn’t noticed.

In addition, I was only 38! And, my new husband was a few years younger than me. Turning a father one year and a Grandpa the next- we’ll that was a lot to adjust to. And me?  If I had been concerned about my upcoming 40th birthday, that was forgotten at the prospect of becoming a Grandma.

I was still focused on being a Mom to my 12 year old daughter and 9 year old son with me in NY. I still wore short skirts and high heels, still was working on my college degree, and I had a sexy new husband.  Being old just didn’t fit the picture.

But I really don’t like women who were vain over age- and I hate people who don’t see the joy in any situation.  So I needed to figure out a way that this would all fit into the puzzle that was my life.

So I thought I’d better start facing reality. I had her come out for a visit when she was about 8 months along. She’d never been to New York, and I was so happy to see her. She wore a tie-dyed jumpsuit that made her look like a Grateful Dead balloon ready to pop. Although I thought I was used to the idea, seeing her really brought it home. My baby was going to have a baby.

Then something happened that erased all my hesitancy in an instance. I needed to drop off kids in one direction and she and her sister needed to go do something in another. We decided to divide and conquer both driving off.  As I returned home, I saw them parked on the side of the road a few blocks from the house. The side of the car was bashed in and it was apparent in an instant that she’d had an accident.  I panicked as I parked the car and ran towards her- praying that she was okay- and the baby.

At that moment, on the side of the street- before my grandson was born I became a grandma- worried just as much about my unborn grandson as I was about my daughter. I guess when I stopped analyzing the whole thing and faced that I could lose them both, it all became crystal clear to me.  I was already in love with my first grandchild.

And, once that happened everything was fine. I also found out that I didn’t have to become old and stodgy.  I could define what kind of grandparent I was going to be, so I did. Starting with what they called me. I decided to be called Nana- and they know Nana rocks.

Yes, although we’re Nana and G-Dave- our grandkids don’t see us as white-haired retired folks who are waiting at home for them to come hang-around. We’re too busy traveling, partying and doin’ our thing.  Yes, you’d better get on the calendar if you want time with Nana and G-Dave.

That original grandchild is 18 now.  And looking back, it really didn’t change much.  We now have 9 grandchildren. My husband is a biker and I can still turn a few heads.    Nobody treat us like old folks.

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