Last Friday, my oldest grandchild, turned 13!! The weird thing is...I can vividly remember the day I turned 13!! I have mentioned how I am not the brightest bulb in the pack (more than once) but, perhaps the reason I remember it so clearly, is...I thought magic would happen! Yep, sure did, everyone made such a big deal about becoming a teenager, I really imagined when I woke up, life would be totally different. Guess what, not an ounce of different. I didn't awaken, absolutely magazine cover beautiful, with a bosom, and stylish hair. Nope, woke up, looked in the mirror, and saw I was just me!! Major disappointment!! I was no different than 12, and 14 was the same.
However, my grand-daughter was different. Her Mom gave her a gift of a day at the beauty salon. I was there to see the" after", OMG!! It was magic. She appeared from the chair, all grown up. This was a 13 I did not remember.
I think on my big day, I was outside cutting sticks for the big birthday wiener roast! I likely had my despised "Pixie" cut hair, which probably was sticking up all over. Chances are, I wore either bell-bottoms, or...my faves, peddle pusher pants, with a shirt that did not match(never colour co-coordinated). My fingernails, unlike those of my glamorous granddaughter's, were probably chewed down to the quick. I certainly wore flip flops, perhaps with one side that the toe piece kept popping out..
The magic of Miss K's 13th, was, I saw the future. This is one beautiful girl! No "pixie" cut there. She has the stylish hair, thick and Selina Gomez-like. Her nails are not all chewed to bits. She dresses in the correct colours. She is the picture of a young lady.
Oh, I listened to her complain, she didn't like the curls (I did). The first thing she did, was straighten them out, when she got home. Geez, this girl does not follow in her Grandma's footsteps. I would have been so lazy, even if I didn't like it, I couldn't be bothered to take the time to straighten it.
Was 13 different when I was growing up? I actually don't think it was. I remember some friends, at 13. They had boyfriends, back in the day. I think I just didn't want to grow up! I expect I had some idea that growing up, sucked.
Now I watch my own little branch of my family tree, turn into a flower. Hellooo. no, not getting mushy, just stating a fact. It is very different, from a Grandma's perspective, than a Mother. As a Mom, you had your own way of raising kids. In my tiny mind, 13, was just a number higher than 12. Guess, because I remember, no magic.
Did this make me feel older? Well, yes, and no. To say it out loud, sounds like I must be ancient. This means I have a child who is old enough to be the parent of a teenager. Well, I suppose I could have had a child at 16, right, then if my child had their child at 16, I could be 45.....Crap, that's old too!!! No getting around it, when someone asks me how old my grandchildren are, they will know that I am truly over the hill.
However, to see her looking all grown up, is a strange experience. I know that, no matter what, I have certainly left my mark on the world. Grandchildren are proof, you will never be forgotten. No matter what, when they have children of their own, and those children ask about their parents, parents, I will be remembered. I am now the truck of a tree which will grow and branch all about. The future is wide open. I have 3 grandchildren now, with the possibility, way in the future, of even more!
I did not start as the milk and cookie Grandma. My youngest was 8 when my granddaughter was born, so I was still in the habit of using the word "No". I had to wait until the Mommy mode could be tuned out, and I could move onto Grandma mode. I know that I was not the "nice" Grandma for many years. My Grandchildren have 4 sets of grandparents (because both sets of "parents" remarried) I was often Grandma #3. Way down at the bottom end, because I kept saying "No".
I hope (although the last visit, my youngest informed me I was "the meanest Grandma in the world!") that I have evolved into a milk and cookie Grandma. I was told years ago, that "all Grandma's have ice cream", and I try to ensure there is some in my freezer at all times. I shop for all the goodies, before a visit, and give the kids free access to the fridge and cupboards. I am not there for all the special occasions, but, I try to share as many as I can. I no longer go off the wall when something is spilled, or broken, I am comfortable just enjoying the life that fills the house with children. I would be lost to have a Christmas without the grandchildren, because I know the silence of a home without kids on that day.
My grandchildren are all different. Like my children, raised exactly the same, but the personalities are totally unique. I see myself in them, often, I see their mother, my brother, my mother and my dad. I see the other sides of their grandparents, and uncles, and great grandmother. To be able to watch them grow is a wonderful thing.
So, I did not feel "old" to see Miss K, looking all grown, I felt a sense of pride, and knowledge that I , am a part of this branch on the tree that will have little branches into the world, forever more. Yes, I am grandmother to a teenager, and I am thrilled to be here to watch her, and her brothers grow. I did not have the pleasure of Grandparents when I was a child, they were so very far away, and although I loved them, I seldom saw them. My youngest 2 children, never had the chance to see their Grandmothers, so, to be able to be a Grandmother, for all these years, is a gift, for both sides(I hope). How they remember me, will be up to them, but...no matter how, I will be forever a part of their lives!
Grandchildren are truly a record of the past, and a glimpse into the future, and I am very proud of my record, and looking forwards to the future.