I can still remember where I was sitting the day that my daughter called me and told me she was expecting. I had moved to New York with my second husband and my two younger children. I remember the feel of the phone against my ear, the sound of the happiness in her voice, the curtains that decorated the windows. I guess that's how your mind imprints a memory when something important happens. It takes a snapshot of the moment.
Wait a minute! She's only 18, I thought. Of course, my head knew she was old enough to have a child, but my heart was far from that. I was shocked and asked myself how this little girl had grown up while I hadn't noticed.
In addition, I was only 38! And, my new husband was a few years younger than me. Turning a father one year and a Grandpa the next -- well, that was a lot to adjust to. And me? If I had been concerned about my upcoming 40th birthday, that was forgotten at the prospect of becoming a Grandma.
I was still focused on being a Mom to my 12-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son with me in NY. I still wore short skirts and high heels, still was working on my college degree and I had a sexy new husband. Being old just didn't fit the picture.
But I really don't like women who were vain over age -- and I hate people who don't see the joy in any situation. So, I needed to figure out a way that this would all fit into the puzzle that was my life.
So, I thought I'd better start facing reality. I had her come out for a visit when she was about 8 months along. She'd never been to New York, and I was so happy to see her. She wore a tie-dyed jumpsuit that made her look like a Grateful Dead balloon ready to pop. Although I thought I was used to the idea, seeing her really brought it home. My baby was going to have a baby.
Then something happened that erased all my hesitancy in an instance. I needed to drop off kids in one direction and she and her sister needed to go do something in another. We decided to divide and conquer both driving off. As I returned home, I saw them parked on the side of the road a few blocks from the house. The side of the car was bashed in and it was apparent in an instant that she'd had an accident. I panicked as I parked the car and ran towards her -- praying that she was OK -- and the baby.
At that moment, on the side of the street, before my grandson was even born, I became a grandma. I worried just as much about my unborn grandson as I was about my daughter. I guess when I stopped analyzing the whole thing and faced that I could lose them both, it all became crystal clear to me. I was already in love with my first grandchild.
And, once that happened everything was fine. I also found out that I didn't have to become old and stodgy. I could define what kind of grandparent I was going to be, so I did. Starting with what they called me. I decided to be called Nana -- and they know Nana rocks.
Yes, although we're Nana and G-Dave -- our grandkids don't see us as white-haired retired folks who are waiting at home for them to come hang around. We're too busy traveling, partying and doin' our thing. Yes, you'd better get on the calendar if you want time with Nana and G-Dave.
That original grandchild is 18 now. And looking back, it really didn't change much. We now have nine grandchildren. My husband is a biker and I can still turn a few heads. Nobody treats us like old folks.
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Enjoy and Keep Rockin!