An acquaintance of mine had a boy who was about my daughter’s age and a girl who was about my son’s age. I used to joke with her that I was glad our children weren’t interested in dating each other, because if they ever got married and had kids, I wouldn’t have the slightest chance of being the favorite grandma. You see, this acquaintance is just about the sweetest person I’ve ever met. Not just nice, but genuinely sweet! I’m a nice person, and I try to be sweet, but it’s not something that comes naturally.
I hadn’t given much thought to the “favorite grandparent” thing until I noticed an article on the subject at www.grandparents.com, entitled, How to Be the Favorite Grandparent: A Cheater’s Guide. My first thought was, “How appalling! What kind of grandparent would manipulate their grandchild for their own ego?” Much to my relief, the article was more about how to be a good grandparent, rather than being the favorite grandparent.
My granddaughter Kaley’s other grandmother, Lisa, knits and crochets. She’s made Kaley some beautiful blankets, sweaters and hats. I couldn’t “knit one, pearl two” to save my soul. She also does much more cooking and baking than I do. I truly hope Kaley has an interest in learning from Lisa as she grows older. However, even if she chooses not to pursue those interests, she and her “Mimi” will have a special relationship.
Kaley’s other grandfather, Uriel, loves camping and fishing. I can see him teaching her set up a tent properly then heading down to the lake for her first fishing lesson. She seems to be a girly-girl, so I’m not sure how she’ll do with bait, but even if she doesn’t like fishing, she’ll enjoy the time with her “Papa.”
Kaley’s grandfather, Chris (aka my husband), looks forward to reading stories to her, taking her to get frozen yogurt and giving her a ride on the tractor. The two of them will explore the creek, while he tells her about how he used to spend time there as a little boy. She may not like frozen yogurt and may be afraid of the tractor, but she’s already mesmerized by the soothing deep voice of her “Poppa.”
Kaley will probably be amazed and alternately annoyed at her singing grandmother (that would be me). From the moment I first held her, I’ve been singing to her. She loves music (as do most children), and I do hope she’ll take an interest in singing and playing an instrument. But even if she doesn’t, she’ll remember her “Mamo” singing softly to her as she was rocked to sleep.
I believe I can say with all sincerity that I have no goal to be the favorite grandparent, because if Kaley were to have a favorite, that would mean her relationship with her other grandparents was in some way deficient. That would be a shame. We all have so much to offer her, and I believe her life will be enriched by her grandparent relationships. She will be more confident in her talents and abilities because all four of her grandparents believe in her and love her unconditionally.
All four of us will be at her first birthday party later this week, and before we know it, we’ll be celebrating her high school graduation. And, that’s what’s really important – that we’re all there for her, all the time. That’s grandparenting with *finesse!
My grandparent finesse level:
Novice Advanced beginner Competent Proficient Expert
What’s your grandparent finesse level?
*finesse (skill, flair, grace elegance, poise, assurance)