This I Believe

Lylanne - Indianapolis, Indiana
Entered on October 24, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: children, family

I believe that a grandma’s love is special. However, I fear that memories my baby boomer generation cherish, of time spent with a loving grandma, will be lost on today’s children because of our busy lives. Besides times have changed in the last forty years; grandmas are getting younger, in spirit, if not in age.

As a child I spent hours at grandma’s house, enjoying her company, listening to her stories of our ancestors, feeling a love from her that not many people could replicate. I sat beside her in the porch swing and glided to and fro; we talked about the different birds I saw in her birdfeeder, birds I identified by reading the books she’d bought me. We enjoyed the smell from the honeysuckle vines that surrounded the southwest side of her large porch, and it was a treat when she allowed me to pull some of the flowers from the vine and suck the sweet nectar.

The oldest of her three grandchildren, I always felt special at grandma’s house. When she baked banana bread for the rest of the family, she baked mine in a small tin. She also made her own pie dough and saved sections of it to bake cinnamon pinwheels especially for me, and each year she prepared my favorite meal, ham and beans with cornbread for my birthday.

When at thirty-eight I became a grandma, young by most standards, I was not a stay at home banana bread and pie baking type of grandma as she was. Instead I was in college working toward my bachelor’s degree, I had another daughter still at home, and I held a couple of part-time jobs to make ends meet. Upon graduation, six years and three grandchildren later, I moved to Indianapolis, an hour and a half south of their hometown. When I left I had every intention of having my grandchildren spend weekends with me from time to time, but work, play, and obtaining my master’s degree took that precious time away.

Now, when memories of my own grandma have become so important to me, my oldest grandson is thirteen; an age where it’s not cool to be hanging around grandma, or any adults for that matter, and his sister, at nine years old, is not that far behind; then there are their two cousins who are eight and three years old, and as I watch them grow I lament the time I’ve missed with my grandchildren. Moreover, I don’t want to be a void in their memories when they get to be my age and look back upon their childhoods. Instead, I want them to remember sitting on the front porch swing with me, talking about animals or historical figures they’ve learned about from books that I’ve bought them; I want them to remember stories of their ancestors I’ve passed on to them, but mostly I want them to feel a love from me that is hard for other people to replicate – a grandma’s love.