If there is a grandmother alive who doesn't love to talk about her grandchild, I haven't met her.
Grandmothers adore talking about their grandchildren. Especially when the little ones are babies, miraculously learning new things all the time. Just ask a grandmother "What's new with little So-and-So?' and this is what will happen.
She will smile broadly, her face will light up, perhaps even her eyes will glisten. She might grab your arm and exclaim, "I must tell you what he did yesterday. He's so smart!"
According to reliable sources -- my friends who are grandparents -- there is nothing cuter, more captivating, more ridiculously precious than the antics of grandchildren.
I haven 't experienced being a grandmother firsthand. Not yet. For now, I am delighted to live vicariously through my friends' lives as they navigate this territory that is still unfamiliar to me.
Like yesterday. I had lunch with two grandmother friends, Meredith and Jane, whose stories kept me entertained the entire time we were at the restaurant.
I sighed after wiping away tears of laughter.
A wistful sigh it must have been.
"Just wait," Jane consoled me. "You'll have your own grandkids." She added, brightly, "Someday."
This is what my friends tell me all the time. I'm behind schedule in the grandchildren department. Well, my schedule anyway.
Note to my kids: Kids, really, no pressure. And please take the necessary steps before giving me grandchildren. Specifically, love and marriage.
"What if," mused Meredith, "our success as adults was measured the same way we measure the success of babies?"
I forked a wedge of omelette as I pondered her comment.
"Go on," I said.
"Think about it," she continued. "What do you ask a new mom about her baby? 'Is he a good eater?' If the answer is yes, we ooh and ahh. What a smart baby!"
This was a brilliant observation, I thought.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if grandparents got the same adulation for doing precisely the same things babies do? We all like to be praised for doing a good job, big or small.
We get accolades for excelling in business, or landing a coveted job, or running a marathon.
But when was the last time you were applauded for ...
- Being a good napper
- Making a solid poop
- Clapping hands and doing So Big
- Not crying when it's time to go to bed
- Burping after you finish a meal
- Waving bye-bye
- Getting a boo boo and being brave
- Swallowing medicine and not spitting it out
- Mispronouncing a word
- Giggling when someone tickles you
- Trying a new food and not making a face
Am I right?
Thank you, Mer and Jane, for the inspiration. And thank you to my (also a grandmother) friend Elise who helped me add a few items to this list. Someday ... someday ... I will have my own grandchildren stories to share.