One of my favorite quotes about grandmothers is this: “Grandmas are moms with lost of frosting.”
Comedian Bill Cosby had a way of making grandparent relationships come alive. I’ve always loved this story he told about his children’s grandmother (see photo).
I was blessed to have two wonderful grandmas … not at all alike, and each providing me with sweet memories and a storehouse of wisdom. But that doesn’t mean I know everything about being a grammy.
I have two “grandmother” gift books I like to read occasionally, just to keep realistic expectations and to remind myself what a “good grandmother” looks like.
Some of the gems I read in The Joy of Grandparenting include:
- The good news is that grandchildren keep you young. The bad news is that afterwards you “feel your age.” Grandchildren help keep you flexible – in more ways than one!
- Childhood memories of how Grandma’s house smelled and looked never leave you.
- All grandparents have a license to be silly. Grandchildren are your passport to a world of fun and adventure.
- Show your grandchildren that you can grow older without acting “old” – age gracefully.
- Don’t be afraid to show your affection for each other when your grandchildren are around.
- Share the joy of reading with your grandchildren – as often as possible. Introduce your grandchild to the books you treasured as a child.
- Grandchildren love hearing your “When I was your age” stories – the first time.
In Grandmothers Are Special, I smile when I read about others’ thoughts and opinions on grandparenting:
- Louisa May Alcott: “A house needs a grandma in it.”
- Clara Ortega: “Grandmas mustn’t take sides – but there’s nothing to stop them winking!”
- A grandmother named Pat: “You know, I think I really was meant to be a grandmother. It was mothering that confused me for all those years.”
- Jewish proverb: “One of life’s greatest mysteries is how the boy who wasn’t good enough to marry your daughter can be the father of the smartest grandchild in the world.”
- Joan McIntosh: “They say genes skip generations. Maybe that’s why grandparents find their grandchildren so likeable!”
- Susan Strasberg: “I loved [my grandparents'] home. Everything smelled older, worn but safe; the food aroma had baked itself into the furniture.
My favorite is by humorist Erma Bombeck: “Grandmothers have three major objectives: keep billfold pictures current, buy whatever their grandchildren are selling, and give impractical gifts that parents have forbidden them to have.”
Yes, these are fun and inspiring comments, but then I turn to the Book of all Books, the Bible, and soak in God’s rich wisdom.
Psalm 128:6a says, “May you live to see your children’s children….” There was a time I just wanted to live long enough to see my grandchildren; but the older I get, the more I want to stay strong so I can “yield fruit” in my old age (Psalm 92:14). I want to see those grandchildren grow up, get launched from their parents, and start homes of their own.
I want to see great-grandchildren!
Because I love my grandchildren, I love to give them gifts (and Proverbs 13:22 suggests that a wise grandparent “leaves an inheritance” to grandchildren); but the greatest gift we can leave them is to pass on a godly heritage (Deuteronomy 4:9; 2 Timothy 1:5).
Psalm 145:4 explains the responsibility of one generation teaching another about God. We certainly can live out authentic faith in front of our grandchildren, but we also need to be intentional in speaking up and pointing our grandchildren to the Creator who sent Jesus to redeem them and give them eternal life.
Sharon Hoffman encouraged me in grandparenting when she wrote,* “You are a valuable representative of the God who created you. Being a grandmom is a crucial role in His kingdom. You are a child of the most High God. When God created you, He also designed a specific purpose for you alone to accomplish at this particular place and time in history. Even if your grandchildren have two or more grandmothers in addition to you, God longs for you to be a representative of His love to the children that He has place in your life.”
Proverbs 17:6a says, “Children’s children are a crown to the aged….” Yes, grandchildren distinguish us. They are our crowning glory, our pride and joy. I love my “Grammy crown.”
* Sharon Hoffman, A Car Seat in My Convertible? Giving Your Grandkids the Spiritual Ride of Their Lives, New Hope Publishers, Birmingham, AL, 1008), p. 26