Monday, April 25, 2016

The Thing About Grandmas: Passing It Down

If the excitement level of anticipating a grandchild is like this, can y'all imagine how off the charts I will be when Baby M actually arrives this summer?! I'm not sure y'all will be able to handle it if I don't tone it down. :)

All these anticipatory thoughts of becoming a grandmother for the first time have, not at all surprisingly, led me down the nostalgic path straight to my own grandmothers whom I loved dearly. I loved spending time with my grandparents and learned so much from them. Unconditional love being first and foremost.

I developed a love of reading from my dad's mother. She was the town librarian in our small town and I bet I read every single book in the children's section when I was coming along. I also developed a love for the color red from her. And a love of cardinals especially the vibrancy of their bold color against a backdrop of white snow. She also taught me to not compare my children with one another which I have never done and it is from her that I learned to appreciate the time spent with friends and family during game nights.

While I loved my dad's mother, I was closest with my mother's mother. Grandmother and I spent many weekends together and time during the summer as well. I most remember our time spent in the kitchen where Grandmother proved what an artist she was. And, while I might not be near the artist she was in the kitchen, I did receive understanding from her of the importance of the kitchen. A place for sharing words of wisdom. A place for singing. A place for telling secrets. A place for spending invaluable time with those we love.

I learned that:
  • the bird whose singing sounds like it's saying, "Pretty girl, pretty girl," was singing to me.
  • you follow the grain of the wood when dusting the furniture 
  • flowers are beautiful and meant to be appreciated outside instead of cut and killed to be brought inside
  • you can serve pimento cheese sandwiches with a silver tea service as long as you cut the bread into pretty shapes, without the crust
  • the best places to shop are the little out of the way shops in small town America
  • decorating the Christmas tree is the most fun thing EVER
  • holidays are the best times of the year
  • gardening is therapeutic
  • there is always time to clean the house AFTER spending time with those you love
  • you do for family
  • peeling an apple without breaking the peel is so dang cool
  • cooking from scratch is the only way and a recipe is nothing without your own special touches
  • you have to do a wiggle dance to don a girdle
  • 'putting up' food is a lot of hard work but well worth the effort
  • bible verses hold truths
  • humming old hymns in the kitchen is comforting
  • nobody loves you like your grandmother does
Yes, the list goes on. But all these little things add up to so very much. When I think of becoming a grandmother this summer, it's a little bit scary. I've got some big shoes to fill. Perhaps I'll be able to channel my grandmothers once the baby arrives.

Or maybe, having these amazing women as grandmothers prepared me for this wonderful relationship more than I know. Actually, I'll be happy if I get anywhere close to their grandmothering abilities.

What did you learn from your grandmother?


  1. My grandmothers were not the kind of grandmothers you had. I have many fond memories and some not so fond memories. My mom's mom was a mess. My dad's mom had favorites. You will be a wonderful grandma, having had such great examples to guide you!!

    1. Sorry to hear that, Terri. I am so grateful for my grandmothers. And my grandfather too! My dad's dad passed before my parents were married, so I never knew him. But my mother's dad was wonderful! I hope I'll be half as good as they were.

  2. My maternal grandmother was the best! She could do many neat things that my mother didn't know how to do--like crochet and sew. I followed her lead and learned how to do both.
    Kathy (Reflections)

    1. Both of my grandmothers had neat things they could do and these things were completely different which was great! They were both geniuses in the kitchen. :)

  3. You do remember your grandmothers very well. Anything to say about grandfathers? I certainly enjoy being "papa" to the kids. It's fun to play like a kid again.

    1. I only knew my maternal grandfather and he was the best! I called him Granddaddy and I miss him to this very day!

  4. My mum's mum was the nanna I was closest too, in fact I don't have many memories surrounding my dad's mum maybe that is because she lived in Sydney and we live in Newcastle which when I was a child it was a 4 hour drive to Sydney so we didn't see her very often. I didn't even go to her funeral just didn't get that upset about her passing, when nanna passes I think I will be an emotional wreck

    1. Distance does make a difference. I'm so glad we lived close to both of mine.

  5. This "nobody loves you like your grandmother does"...You got that absolutely right! Grandmas are the best! My paternal grandmother was "Granny" and my maternal grandmother was "Grandma"...two totally different personalities borne from hard lives. But, I never had to doubt how much they loved me and I love them very much. Grandma has been gone now 23 years and Granny 6 years. I miss them more than words will ever be able to express.

    It sounds to me like we were both very blessed girls. :)

    What I learned from my Granny was to not take anything from anybody. If someone didn't want anything to do with me, to heck with them (only she used a different word!) From my grandma, I learned that it didn't matter how tall I was or wasn't (both of us were about 4'11"), that I was how Heavenly Father made me and that was just fine. She stood up for me when my aunt was teasing me about being short.

    My grandma and granny both showed me how very important family was, that you stick it out no matter what might be going wrong. You pray for people, even those that hurt you, with love, not bad prayers hoping for bad things to happen to them. Family is family, no matter what, and you never desert family. You love them anyway.

    Granny showed me it was okay to stand up for myself. Grandma showed me it was okay to be myself.

    Thanks for such a wonderful post. Many blessings to you and that new grand-baby that's coming along. :)

    1. Thank you for sharing what your grandmas taught you! They certainly sound like wonderful women. I still miss mine too. They were just the best! Thank you!


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