"Marsha Jacobson does parents a great favor."
What It Means To Be A Grandmother
July 10th, 2012 ¦ Marsha Jacobson -
My eldest son became a father, which makes me a grandmother. Before this, people said, “Wait until you become a grandmother. There are no words to describe it.” Well now that I can speak from the other side of the fence, I am going to try and find some words.
I remember as a kid running relay races. I never quite got their purpose because it seemed like I was trying to pass a baton to someone who was running away from me. For me, parenting has been a bit like that – trying to pass on the wisdom for fulfillment with the persistent sense that I wasn’t quite there.
When I left my son for the first time at preschool, I remember feeling that I had relinquished some invisible hold. I pushed him gently with the baton held firmly in my hand. We had left a place to which there was no return. When he turned sixteen, he refused to give his high school permission to call home if he skipped a class. This time it was his hand that reached back for the baton. When he left for university and then got married I felt that I had finally let go but it wasn’t until my grandson was born that the baton was in my son’s hand facing forward toward his own child.
The love I feel for my grandchild is light and joyful, unweighted by the parental burden of responsibility and unhampered by the kind of worry and anxiety that I feel with my own children. When I’m with my grandson, I think less about his future and more about his present. I can stare at his face, and watch his expressions change for a ridiculous amount of time. I kiss his head constantly because it’s kissable. I love him as much whether he’s crying, smiling or sleeping.
I’m sure there will be times that I will worry about him, but not as much as his mom and dad will. I believe I will be calm and grandmotherly, not through trying, but because that’s the way I will feel.
I have planted and sowed. It’s my time to reap. The baton has been passed.