Portrait of a grandma

The difference between forgiveness & reconciliation | Such the SpotIn approximately four months my daughter is going to call and tell me that she has been admitted to the hospital. I will not pass go or collect $200 on my way to Southwest.com where I will book myself on the next available flight to Oregon. As I run out the door I will grab my pre-packed suitcase and camera equipment and hope I make it in time to welcome my first grandbaby into this wide and curious world.

Whether I make it or not, one thing is certain: a baby changes everything. My little heart, once removed.

When I was pregnant with my first I was too busy earning the last credits I needed in Economics to worry about what kind of mother I would be. I had a general idea. But now that idea stands like weathered brick, the vines of love and regret and hope all tangled and grown over. This will be different. I suspect that with this baby of the grandest variety, time won’t press but will, instead, pass in incremental coos and smiles and chocolate milk-mustached kisses.

This is the kind of grandma I hope to be:

the kind with a stash of Junior Mints hidden away in a tin that she knows well

the kind who favors rocking her to sleep over a hot meal

the kind who reads books and plays chase and has tea parties

the kind who never steps on mom and dad’s toes

the kind who volunteers first to babysit

the kind who tucks five dollars into a card for no reason at all

the kind who sends little things–bubbles and barrettes and bouncy balls–in packages addressed just to her

the kind who tells bedtime stories when she visits

the kind who plants a love for Jesus through actions, not words

the kind with warm cookies and tall glasses of milk

the kind who sends gifts that prove I know her

the kind who writes recipes on a card and passes them down

the kind with a nativity scene that she can play with

the kind who reprimands gently, and fiercely loves

the kind who looks the other way when peas are fed to the dog

the kind who can be counted on to send both an advent calendar and ornament every year

the kind known for homemade chicken noodle soup and biscuits from scratch

the kind she’ll look up to and lean on and trust

I should come naturally by it; the women in my life–they love.

I say the word aloud and it doesn’t feel right. Grandma. It smells like peppermint. It tastes like cotton. It sounds like the squeak of a rocking chair and the steady tap of knitting needles. It feels gray and frail and wrapped in a quilt.

I want a name that smells like summer and tastes like marshmallows. I want it to sound like crickets and the crackle of a campfire. I want it to feel like sand through her toes with the rush of the tide sneaking up.

I’m not sure yet what it’ll be. I’ve heard some good ones: Woody and Grinny and Mimi. I like Fizzy for me and Pop-Pop for Jeff but that was quickly shot down. Sigh. I think it’s cute.

This much I know: grandma is just a word. It’s the life in her–the love–that counts.
the grandma I hope to be | Such the Spot


    1. I hope that, too. I might need a girls wine night while I’m there just to prove that I can get by without Metamucil and applesauce and Depends thankyouverymuch. ;)

  1. I always told my children not to make me a grandma till I was at least 40. I became one at 39. They never listen do they? lol. From the moment I laid eyes on that little boy he had me wrapped around his lil chubby fingers. A year later he was fighting for his life because of a malignant brain tumor. He won that fight and is now 6 yrs old, with some developmental delays and some other issues but boy do I love his smile. He calls me Omi (i’m originally from Germany, omi is like granny over there) I always tried to get him to say grandma and my hubby kept calling me omi in front of him and somehow that stuck. I will tell him I love him and he will answer “I love you too omi” sigh. You are in for a ride. A wonderful ride of joy, love, laughter and so much more. Congrats :)

  2. They NEVER listen, Britta! What’s up with that? In any case, your boy sounds like a total little champ. I bet he’s just amazing.

    Omi is so cute. I really like that one.

    And, yes, I’ve already resigned myself to the fact that I will answer to whatever she calls me. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Oh, how this tugged at my heart! I love it. You will be a wonderful whatever-y’all-decide-to-call-yourselves.

  4. I often think about my grandma name, as it’s very likely I’ll be in my early 40s when I become one (and that’s if things go to in a traditional way). I don’t want to be Grandma!

    You’ll be a great one, whatever she calls you!

  5. I’m in the same boat. Trying to find a hip grandma name lol. A friend of mine came across ‘Lolli’ and her hubby is ‘Pop’

  6. Beautiful post…. brought tears to my eyes. In a similar situation (although almost 50, not a young 40-something!)… and I am just filled with joy…and thinking of names, too! Down here MawMaw and Grandma are popular… no thank you :) I know you will be all those things you listed and more! Congratulations!

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