coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Monday, November 27, 2017

Getting to know me

Our beloved granddaughter, E, recently spent the night with us. While she was here, we got a FaceTime call from old friends. E observed as we interacted lovingly with a family she didn't know. She wondered who they were. I told her that we used to celebrate Thanksgiving with the family almost every year for 30 years. Shocked she exclaimed "Wow, Grandma! You guys have a secret life." That tickled me.

It has not been a secret life, by the way. It has been sassy and loud. It is just that my granddaughter is still at that age where she doesn't realize her Grandpa and I are individuals independent from the social roles we play. This was a bit of a revelation to her, I think; a moment of personal growth.

When I was young I was always asking my mother and grandmother questions about their lives.
Just like you need kindling to build a good fire, you need knowledge of the "other" to build a relationship. It is easier to forgive people for their weaknesses if you have an understanding of how they developed them. And, of course, being interested in the people around you creates empathy.

I look forward to this next developmental step with E. Hopefully, she will learn to know all her grandparents as individuals, rather than thinking of us simply as her grandparents. I will be happy when she knows me as Colette, in addition to knowing me as Grandma.

Kindling





18 comments:

  1. I love this story! Our grandkids call us Grandma and Grandpa sometimes, and most often they call us Robin and Roger. We love it.

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    1. I like that they do both. My little grandson used to think it was funny that Grandpa and Grandma had other names.

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  2. As a child I often thought that people turned on when I was around and off when I left. What an ego! I think it takes a while for children to realize that other people were not placed here for their amusement and care. I love children's minds.

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    1. I love watching them grow and figure things out.

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  3. Now that most of my grandchildren are teenagers, I have noticed that they want to know more about me. I really love that.

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  4. Isn't this fun! I love the familial development of younger generations. I've overheard Laura mentioning "the secret life of Grandma" to friends.

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    1. Ha! If only we DID have secret lives, right?

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  5. It's funny how the tables get turned, how when we're young, it's almost impossible to get our heads around the idea of our parents and grandparents as individuals with more in their CV than having given birth to us. And then we become Grandma and experience it all again, in reverse...But with more women of our generation having worked outside the home, I think it's a bit easier for children these days to see their grandmothers as individuals.

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  6. Such a sweet story. Here's to more discoveries.

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  7. My mother died five years ago, my grandmother 34 years ago. I'm in the process of going through a box of my mother's photos in an attempt to make some kind of a record for my own children after I'm gone. Makes me cry a fair bit.

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    1. I'm sorry for your loss, honey. I really am. Hurts so bad. However, I'm happy you are making this record for your descendants. They will appreciate it.

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  8. I think it works both ways - I often think of my daughters only as my children. But recently I witnessed one of them in her professional role as a social worker and I was amazed at the person she has become. It is quite mind blowing when you get to see a different facet of a person that forever changes your preception of them.

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  9. Yes, this is such a discovery - for both of you. E will discover the woman in Colette and Colette will discover the grandmother inside herself. And you will both benefit. Beautiful!

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So, whadayathink?