Sometime in the next month, I’m going to become a grandmother for the first time. Twice. Yup. Twins. You probably know this because I’ve only mentioned it a few thousand times here, on Twitter and FaceBook and to random strangers who make the mistake of looking at me for one second. Yup, the hermit is talking to strangers.
I love being a mom but as the Big Moment approaches, I have realized that becoming a Grandma requires some preparation, because I don’t want to just be a grandmother, I want to be an awesome grandmother. I have great examples of awesome grandmas in my life, though my grandmothers were as different as two people could be.
Country grandma, pictured above, raised her children in a log cabin. For real. A visit to her house included trees to climb, a ditch to play in, a big bag of ginger snaps under the sink and a thousand cousins. Or it might have been fifty. I know it was a lot and we often picked up some non-related kids, too. There wasn’t much money, but there was lots of love. No one came to Country Grandma’s house and left without something, even if it was just a haircut. From her, I learned about charity that never failed. I used to make her homemade bread, until I moved to the South (that’s another blog post).
Urban grandma grew up in the city, fell in love with a cowboy and moved to the wilds of Wyoming to raise her family. Her house was dim and cool, and kind of magical (I made it Mel’s home in Out of Time). When I spent time at her house there was a drawer with crayons, coloring books and sometimes, paper dolls to play with. She taught me embroidery and tried to teach me to tat. I’d sit by her chair and stitch while she told me stories about the grandpa I never met (he died when my mom was five) and the uncle who died in WWII. Urban grandma loved to read romances. She shared her books with me and I typed my first story on the huge, old typewriter in her basement.
My own mother was an awesome grandma. She made it look easy, which is why I got lulled into thinking that because I’d been a mom, being a grandma would come naturally. Thanks to them, I know the love will be easy. But so much has changed since I was a mom of little ones. I went to BabyUSA with my daughter-in-law and there was stuff I’d never seen before! O.O
I could so see the point of the PeePee Teepees, but all that other stuff? Which is awesome and would really help, and which is all dazzle and no real use? Inquiring future grandma needs to know.
So, welcome to The Grandma Project. I’m sort of ready, so don’t panic.
I’ve made a few decisions about what kind of grandma I want to be. I’m going gray, for one thing. Both my grandmas sported their gray and white. I wouldn’t have minded being the skinny, gray grandma, but yeah, well…
I rock cookies. So I’ll be the gray-haired, cookie-making, on the plump side, grandma. And we’ll hope the kids don’t find out everything else until they are old enough to handle it.
But I’m hoping all of you can help with the parts I don’t know, and didn’t know I needed to know:
- My grandma name. I grew up in Wyoming. It was lovely, but as far as I know, everyone called their grandmas…grandma. To differentiate, we added a surname. Yeah, not too inspired. After living over 30 years in the south, I know grandma names can be pretty fun. Or quirky. Of course, I realize that choosing a grandma name, and getting the kids to use it…but I figure I should be prepared.
- What’s the cool stuff a rocking, okay, lame jig grandma should have around the house? What great, new baby stuff is actually great? What are the hot, new reads in picture books? (I see Incognito Mosquito is out of print!)
I know we need to child proof the house, but what modern, unseen dangers, haven’t I heard about? (We’ll be moving the hubs rocks into storage and I’ll have to work not to do a jig for that.) When my kids were little, we didn’t have computer cords and such to worry about. Our son (who will be the father of the twins, btw) was hard on the appliances and such we did have back in my olden days. Is there cool, new child-proof stuff or is it the same old stuff?
- I don’t want to just be an awesome grandmother, but I want to be a great mother-in-law to the mom of my grandchildren. What are the guidelines? How do I help in good ways? How do I adore and admire, without being annoying?
- What are some questions I don’t even know to ask, but will need to know?
So, peeps, that’s the project. And I need your help. So give it to me straight. Help me be awesome, and suitably named, as I embrace grandma-hood heart and soul.
All comments are entered in my monthly drawing for a $10 AnaBanana gift card, suitable for grandmas and non-grandmas. Winners announced the first blog post of the new month. 🙂
If you have some time left over from thinking about the Grandma Project, and if you love to read, if you enjoy action, adventure, a little romance, and a little humor in your reading, then I hope you’ll pop over and check out my books on my website at paulinebjones.com. I’ve also started to post information about my upcoming release, Relatively Risky. It will be my first, new romantic suspense novel to release in six years!