2 December 2021
Three years ago my life changed.
Up until that moment, my life revolved around keeping my immediate family moving. Food was prepared, clothes were washed, the house vacuumed. People were shuffled off to work, housework was done, coffee dates were maintained with friends, volunteer work fitted in comfortably around whatever else needed doing.
It was a good life. A comfortable life.
Three years ago, relics of my children’s early years were stored in a dusty spot in the attic. The cradle made by my father-in-law, the boxes containing Lego collections, the K’nex roller coaster and other bits and pieces, some items of clothes I couldn’t throw away but definitely didn’t need to look at regularly. All that stuff shoved away with the Christmas decorations.
Photo albums of my children’s early years sat accumulating more dust. We had dragged them out to scan photos for their significant birthdays over the years, but by and large they took up bookcase space and remained a constant but untended reminder of days gone by.
Three years ago, toys were things that the adult males in my house accumulated. Electronic gadgets, devices that allowed you to listen to music or do stuff on the internet, or devices that did everything. Bikes, games and so forth.
My toys were of the sort that either made me coffee, or indulged my craft hobby, or allowed me to spend more time in the kitchen.
Three years ago, money was spent on holidays, on concerts, on gadgets that made better coffee.
A good life.
But then three years ago, I got a new name. It changed everything. I became “Grandma”.
Friends had already told me in excruciating detail how your life changes when you become a grandparent, and let me tell you there is nothing more annoying if you don’t have grandkids. Like the charismatic zeal of a reformed smoker, or healthy eater, or exercise guru. Or anti-vaxxer, maybe . They have all seen the light, and need you to know just how bright and shiny that light is.
I truly feel for my friends who have not as yet got their new name. Maybe you will get your new name one day, maybe you won’t. I’m sorry for crapping on about it, but forgive me one more time.
Three years ago, things changed in my house.
The cradle got dragged down, dusted and made to hold yet one more child who embraces portions of my dna.
The photo albums have been denuded of photos which are scanned and put alongside photos of new children, proving how much at times they resemble their Dad. They are dragged out now to give evidence to stories that their Dad tells them at bedtime, about his childhood.
Toys of the electronic, craft and coffee making variety are still purchased and enjoyed, but my house now resembles a day care centre. I have the best Duplo collection you’ve ever seen, and money is spent gleefully and with abandon on stuff that make two little boys smile.
Days that are spent with my grandkids tire me out like you wouldn’t believe. The more energy they have, the more is required from the grandparents. The more questions they ask, the more the grandparents have to engage their brain.
The more smiles you get, the bigger your heart gets.
I love my new name.