Kids often think grandmothers are the most wonderful women on the face of the earth. But I can’t help but wonder if my kids have ever thought, “That’s not the same woman who raised me!”
Windows wide open to soft gentle breezes…it was springtime! My favorite time of year. And what better time to do spring cleaning? But what does cleaning have to do with grandkids? Well, read on…
I was in the midst of my pulizie di Pasqua (Spring or Easter cleaning) for that year, plus a major de-cluttering campaign. So I had taken a few things over to my daughter’s house. Including a padded envelope, which my four-year old granddaughter seized upon and proceeded to tear apart!
But so engrossed was I in hearing of my son-in-law’s escapade of falling up the stairs, I hadn’t noticed. (And yes, he fell up the stairs – he’s a very talented guy!)
“Why are you wrecking that envelope?” I eventually inquired. To which she replied decisively and with a can’t you tell? attitude, “I’m getting to the bubbles!” Now, it hadn’t occurred to her she was doing wrong. Her one thought was popping those prized bubbles!
Not the same woman
And that’s when I realized that my daughter probably thought, “That’s not MY mom!” For I’m not the same as when I raised my own kids. I likely would have made a big deal over that envelope. But I now know that a stupid little envelope isn’t that important – certainly nothing to come unglued over! Why? Because I am not the same woman I was then!
I now have Grandma eyes
My parental vision was often dim. Overwhelmed by duty, responsibility, expections, and exhaustion I often couldn’t see beyond the end of my own nose! But being a grandma, able to step back from all that, I can better see the crux of the situation. I see further down the road and beyond my viewpoint. I can envision the long term effects of present actions.
And grandparent eyes grant us two distinct advantages:
1. Less responsiblity
We get to enjoy the kids without the huge parental responsibility of having to raise them right. And this can help us to step back, reflect, and react with more logic.
For to my remorse I wasn’t always a logical parent. I sometimes made mountains out of molehills, overeacting, or speaking with harshness.
Not that children should get to do whatever they want, or be without discipline. They need to learn right from wrong. But my granddaughter hadn’t disobeyed and didn’t think she was doing wrong. She was just being four, and didn’t think to ask.
2. Greater objectivity
Objectivity grants us grandparent eyes to see the child’s point of view. Eyes that helped me understand my granddaughter wasn’t trying to misbehave. That her only thought was getting to those bubbles. And to see that it was nothing but a little envelope that would in the end would get tossed anyway. Definitely not a big thing.
But harsh words and actions are a big deal. They can linger in young hearts for a lifetime.
So what did I say to my granddaughter? “Enjoy your bubbles!” Spring cleaning, a granddaughter, and a padded envelope helped me change perspective. And made me so glad that I’m no longer that woman who raised my own kids!
Sometimes patience takes stopping to see things from a new perspective!