“Ode to Grannies”
I work in a small office of about twelve employees. It is a very family oriented environment with our share of love and hate relationships. In this group, are some amazing women. They are grandmothers that are actively raising their grandchildren. First there is Sandy who has two teenage grandkids. She is the perfect vision of what a grandmother does. When the new Jordan’s come out – she’s one of the first in line. When Spanish lessons are needed – she’s finding the perfect tutor. At the same time, when one is caught holding hands with a boy – she’s quick to show that she’s not all fun and games.
Then there’s Darlene. Her grands call her ‘My Dar’. The kids have been through some rough times, but she still takes time to show that she cares and often stays that constant that they can count on. And leading off the pack is Ms. Rose, also known as Granny Rose or Grandma Extraordinaire. Rose has six grandkids and it is not uncommon for her to have over 10 kids in her house on the weekends. She feeds them, entertains them, serves as the cabbie and makes sure they attend church. When there are problems at school, Rose steps in. I am amazed at these women.
At a time in their lives where they should actively be thinking about retiring, they continue to work for the sake of their children and their children’s children. Although they should be empty nesters, the rooms in their houses are often filled by youngsters still too young to vote. They choose to do these things so these youth will have the same feeling of love that Sandy, Dar and Rose gave their own children.
It makes me wonder, though. These women are all young at heart and won’t stop moving any time soon. However, what if something happens to them? Who will step in? It seems like many in my generation have become dependent on our parents. Some of us have kids. Yet, instead of focusing on raising them, we are still focused on ourselves and are more worried about missing the next party. We know our kids will be okay since Granny is right down the road. But what type of path are we creating? We are showing our kids that parents are part-time jobs.
What’s the next step in this path? Sooner or later, our generations’ kids will start having their own kids. If we weren’t there to raise them, who is going to be there to show them the right way to be a caring parent? So I end with two thoughts: 1) If you are a grandparent raising kids – you are truly a blessing. In a world that is full of doubt, low self esteem, hard times and peer pressure – you are the ones helping our youths’ dreams come true. You raise them, praise them and let them know they are loved. 2) If you are a parent who has your parent doing what you should be doing to raise your children, take a minute to tell them how much he/she is appreciated and actively work to become the example they’ve set for you!
M.Y. October 2008