I was one of the first in my group of friends to get married and have children, so it is only logical that I would be one of the first to become a grandmother. My friends look at my pictures of my grandchildren with the proper amount of enthusiasm, but until they have walked in my shoes, there is no way they can understand how wonderful it is to be called "Nana." In part, I believe, because they think it will make them appear older. I try to tell them that being a nana has not detracted from my lifestyle. If Mick Jagger can be a grandparent and still rock and roll at his age, then surely I can "rock on," too, but I don't think they believe me.
For those of you whose children haven't had children yet, let me encourage you by telling you some reasons why you will love being a grandparent.
1. Grandchildren reawaken us to the beauty and wonder of life. When we have children, we get to rediscover the world through their eyes. To be able to experience that again through grandchildren is one of life's greatest blessings.
2. Watching our children become parents reaffirms that while we weren't perfect parents, we must have done something right. I like to think that the love our children have for their children is a compilation of love passed down from previous generations that will continue on through my grandchildren to future generations.
3. There is no sweeter sound than that of a grandchild's laughter. It's the music that makes a grandparent's heart sing.
4. Play time with my children was fun, but often in the back of my mind was the voice that whispered "You need to be cleaning,working, etc." When I play with my grandchildren now, that voice is silent.
5. There's enough love for each and every grandchild, no matter how many you have. Grandchild number eight is just as loved and precious as the first one was. Each child is unique and a blessing to a grandparent's heart.
6. Grandchildren think we are grand and that makes them special! In a society that worships the young and skinny, the older and not-so-skinny citizens are often ignored (except when they want to sell us medicine or wrinkle cream). Wrinkles and gray hair don't matter to a grandchild. They have the ability to look past all physical attributes and peer straight into our hearts.
7. They keep us young and remind us that simple things are often best. If it weren't for my grandchildren I wouldn't dance with Micky Mouse or sing with Elmo. I wouldn't go to Ralphie's Fun House or take endless golf cart rides up and down the driveway. Play is fun, but sometimes adults forget to play. Grandchildren remind us that even something as simple as bubble wrap can be fun!
8. They give us hope for the future. In a world that seems often dark and hopeless, they bring joy and light. The future belongs to them and I have faith that they can and will make the world a better place.
9. They teach us how to be better people. Watch children play together and see how quick they are to forgive and forget. What if adults could do the same? What a better world it would be!
10. Just when you think you have experienced all the different kinds of love the world has to offer you become a grandparent and realize there is yet one more ...and like God said after seeing all that he had made, "It is very good." The love of a grandchild is very, very good.