Although not one of my usual topics I’m participating in the Grandmother Power Blogging Campaign so I hope you will enjoy this story and I would love to see your comments if you have any.
I couldn’t find any up to date photo’s so these are from when my grandchildren were a little younger but I did want to share them.
This week is the start of the first ever Grandmother Power Blogging Campaign in which I’m honored to participate. This was the brain-child of Tara Mohr who in her 30’s knows the impact that Grandmothers can have which is why she started this blogging campaign.
Bravo Tara! Thank you for giving us all the opportunity to share different aspects of our lives and the power that being grandmothers can have on the world.
I have six beautiful healthy grandchildren who brought an unexpected light into my life. Fraternal twins of eight, Identical twins of nine, my oldest grand-daughter is 12 and my oldest grandson is 11.
I am very blessed.
When I first thought about participating I couldn’t imagine what I was going to write. However, my next thought was, “what would I like my grandchildren to learn from me” so this is about being a Grandma and a little about the great-grandmas.
I have two grand-daughters and four grandsons. What I would like to see for them is that the girls become strong powerful women who believe in themselves and know they can achieve anything. I would like to see the boys becoming men who also believe in themselves so they too can achieve anything they desire but I would add something for them.
I would like to think that they will always respect women for who they are and what they do and know that they hold equal status in all areas of life. And, that all of them know the importance of giving back to society in any way they can.
These six children never cease to amaze me. I was able to see much more of my oldest two when they were babies than I do now. I remember I used to call my grand-daughter ‘my yoga’. Holding her brought me a sense of calm and peace. My oldest grand-son was such a delight and so rambunctious as a little boy and so much fun. We used to sit on my daughters back step, look up into the sky and count how many airplanes flew by.
As they are getting older, although always pleased to see me, they prefer doing their own thing rather than sitting with Grandma and that’s really OK. I’m grateful they don’t live too far away and see them all at least once a week. I love to listen to their thoughts and what they see in the world. The inside of my kitchen cupboard doors have all their art projects taped up from over the years and at least two of them have become really great at drawing and art. It’s a lot of fun to see them evolving. I attend as many of their school events as I can and clap as loudly as all the other grandma’s who are beaming with pride about their grandchildren.
I don’t see any one of them being smarter than one of the others; however, what I do see is that each of them has their own gift. Right now they are like sponges and will soak up all they see and hear so hopefully with these gifts they will make positive changes in the world. Each of them including the identical twins, have their own unique way of thinking and being.
The world is very different today than it was when I grew up and when my children grew up. We didn’t immigrate to the US until 1979 so they were brought up in the UK. We never worried about where they were or what they were doing; being kidnapped, raped or shot belonged in story books.
Today as a grandmother I look at the world in a very different light. It concerns me that my grandchildren are being brought up in a world of so much violence.
When my children were growing up they didn’t have to deal with all the challenges our youth seem to have today. We didn’t know about allergies or ADHD, they didn’t run quickly to a therapist if there was a blip in their nature or put their kids on medication. Today these things seem to be the norm which I find rather sad. Of course we also didn’t have all the processed foods, stress filled lives and unhealthy air that is around today either.
I’d like to think that they will always treasure real books and that they will know it’s important to have nice manners and to have a really good education and although I want them to be well educated I also would like to see them having street smarts and standing on their own two feet.
My grandchildren all know that they have a working grandma who doesn’t often have the ability to be able to spend more time with them.
Often Grandmas are the ones who share the memories in a family and leave behind a legacy to remember. Being 72 I intend to have many more years on this earth to watch them become adults and live their own lives.
Unfortunately, I don’t know a lot about the history of either set of my grand-parents other than the fact that my mothers’ parents came from Lithuania and settled in the UK and his brother went to Ellis Island and settled in the US. Unfortunately I know nothing about my father’s parents because they died when I was a baby. I do sometimes wish, for the sake of my grandchildren that I had thought to ask about the family history while both my parents were still alive.
I only remember one of my grandmothers and in thinking back, one of the things that stands out for me now is what a strong take charge woman she was. Today she would probably be called controlling! She had six sons and two daughters, was very poor and spoke very little English and yet she was a force to be reckoned with.
I remember she ruled the roost with a rod of iron and it was expected that her grandchildren would visit at least once every week. She had been brought up the hard way and I don’t think she knew what it was like to really have fun. She spoke her mind and we were expected to listen. Half the time I couldn’t understand what she was saying but I respected her. It was quite a large very dysfunctional and raucous family and yet everyone seemed to be fairly happy.
It was of course a very different world just after World War II in the UK. Even if the women had been working during the war years, which often they did because the men were away, once they were married they were expected to stay home and take care of the family and the children. Today that would be considered a bit archaic.
As a Mother mine wasn’t so great, but being a Grandma was very different. She adored her grandchildren, two of mine and two of my sisters and saw them all very regularly. She had a very rough life with my father and didn’t really come into herself until after he died when they were in their 70’s. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for her grandchildren; however, she also did it with a firm hand. She expected them to have good manners and to behave appropriately in every situation just as she did when my sister and I were growing up.
My mother was completely deaf and with a hearing aid had 10% of hearing in one ear so her grandchildren learned how to talk very loudly as did we all. She wasn’t very educated and was a first generation Brit but she taught me how to be a good hostess which in the UK at that time was important to know. Although I didn’t always like her cooking she did teach me that knowing how to cook is important. When she was alive and lived in Miami for several months a year, she used to say, “it’s not all about take-out.” Because she taught me these skills I was able to pass that on to her grand-daughter.
Being the woman she became, when she was 90, determined to see at least some of her great-grandchildren she came from the UK to visit. That was the last time she was able to travel. She died when she was 93.
When she got really sick and they didn’t think they would see her again both of my children flew to the UK to see her one last time and when she died a short time later, they both went back to the UK and attended their Grandma’s funeral.
My wish for the future would be that my grand-children grow up having fun, being well educated, have integrity and love for others and know that life is precious so what you bring to it is what you will get out of it.
If I could speak to millions of younger women who are going to one day become grandmothers I would say, make sure you always believe in yourself and that you know how to stand on your own two feet and don’t allow fears to get in the way so you can pass this on to the generation after you.
I hope you enjoyed reading my Grandma story and that you will leave any comments you may have.
If you would like to add your story please check out the details between now and May 14th at http://www.taramohr.com/join-grandmother-power-blogging-campaign. The more the merrier and the more for future generations to learn from.
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