Grandchildren often think grandmothers are the most wonderful women on the face of the earth. But I wonder if my kids ever think, “That’s not the woman who raised me!”
Windows wide open to soft gentle breezes…it was springtime! My favorite time of year. And what better time to do spring cleaning? “But what does cleaning have to do with grandkids?” Well, read on…
A couple of years ago, I was in the midst of my pulizie di Pasqua (Spring or Easter cleaning). And a major de-cluttering campaign as well. So I took a few things over to my daughter’s house, including a used padded envelope, which my four-year old granddaughter promptly started ripping apart. But so engrossed was I in hearing of my son-in-law’s escapade falling up the stairs, that I didn’t notice. Yes, he really fell up the stairs — he’s a very talented guy!”
What are you doing?” I eventually asked her.
And in a tone which clearly stated, You should know what I’m doing; it’s perfectly logical. She responded “I’m trying to get to the bubbles!” It never occurred to her she was doing wrong. Her one thought was getting to pop those prized bubbles! Upon learning why I’d brought the envelope, a worried frown appeared, as she gaped at the now shredded envelope. “Oh, I’m sorry Nonna (Grandma)!”
And that’s when I realized that I am not the same as when I raised my own kids.
For I probably would have made a big deal over that envelope. And a stupid little envelope isn’t really that big a deal. But I’m not the same woman my kids grew up with.
As grandparents We have distinct advantages:
Not having to raise them right allows us evaluate the situation with more logic.
We get to enjoy them, without the parental responsibility. And this enables me to step back and reflect more logically. For to my remorse, I wasn’t always a logical parent. I often made mountains out of molehills or issued harsh punishments for mere misdemeanors.
Not that I think children should get to do whatever they want, or be raised without discipline. They need to learn right from wrong. But she hadn’t disobeyed and didn’t think she was doing wrong. She was just being four, and didn’t think to ask.
And we can take time to see things through the child’s eyes.
By not having to take action (which is the parents’ job), grants me Grandma eyes — which see the child’s point of view. Like with my granddaughter whose one thought was those bubbles. Not misbehaving, but getting to that prize!
And that helped me see that it was just a little envelope torn apart. An envelope that would, in the end, just get tossed. Definitely not a big deal.
But harsh actions and words are a big deal — that can linger in young hearts for a lifetime.
So what did I say to my granddaughter? “Enjoy your bubbles! Spring cleaning in Italy, a granddaughter, and a padded envelope helped me change perspective. And made me so glad that I’m no longer that woman who raised my own kids!