Grandparent: It's Grand to Be a Grandparent
Without fanfare or warning, I've become the kind of woman who divides the world into those who know all about Dora and Swiper and Boots and those who don't. On a regular basis and with missionary zeal, I scour entertainment ads for "Backyardigans" shows and check newspaper listings for toy recalls.
That's what happens to you when you become a grandparent and the future resides less than 10 minutes away, close enough for a quick fix of wet kisses and knee hugs.
To those unfortunates who have yet to cuddle with the children of their children, I extend my condolences. One day, if God so chooses, you'll be part of that sometimes-ridiculous, often-boastful and always-enamored
We're the ones who learned the intricacies of YouTube and
This week, I marked the second anniversary of being a grandmother, a whirlwind period of heart-wrenching emergencies and grand celebrations. The twins, once known here as the Little Bald People, now pirouette to Abba's "Dancing Queen" and call me Bela.
In that time, too, a third granddaughter was born, an incredibly gorgeous, double-chinned, thick-thighed baby who had no trouble pocketing my heart. I've nicknamed her Spit Bubble Queen for her astounding ability to do what everyone else is too embarrassed to try.
"Chunky, chunky, chunky," I croon in her ear.
Does life get any better than this?
I tell my envious friends that being a grandparent is really like Parenting 2.0 but without the viruses and hoaxes. Sleepless nights are not included, though worrying remains an integral part of the program.
If parenting changes you, so does becoming a grand. One day you wake up and recognize that you are acting like ... well, like those people who carry Grandma Brag Photobooks in their purses and elbow out other adults for pinata candy at birthday parties. I now go to stores and, instead of meandering around the shoe department, detour to the children's section to rifle through the clearance rank. The toy aisles at
Paradoxically, life has taken on added gravitas and buoyancy. On the one hand, I now think of my mortality, of what I will one day leave behind. On the other, I sprinkle pixie dust with a wand and sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" at the top of my lungs.
Grandchildren have made me take the long view. A lifetime is no longer my preferred yardstick to measure failure and success. Now I think in terms of generations, of that inexorable link from my parents to me to my children and to my children's children and to all those I will never meet.
One day, I will be the pixeled face in a great-grandchild's computer, the woman with the ridiculous hairdo and funny clothes. What story, I wonder, will they be told? What feat of mine will they recount? Which of my values will still hold?
If You Have a Friend, You Have It All
After a few months' hiatus, I spoke to my best friend from childhood. Though we live hundreds of miles apart, we can tell each other anything, picking up the strands of various subplots -- children, siblings, work, health -- right where we left off. We vent, we rage, we analyze, we pick apart. We laugh. A lot. Mostly, though, we just let it all hang out. And my, my, my, that feels so dang good.
Baby Boomers Hit a New Low By Getting High
We were dubbed the baby boomers, but after decades of influencing everything from music to public policy, the Peter Pan Generation might be more like it. Some of us simply refuse to grow up. That forever-young attitude was underscored in two recent studies that show, doggone it, we refuse to act our age. We're engaging in the type of behavior we warn college kids about
Ana Veciana-Suarez is a family columnist for The Miami Herald. Write to her at The Miami Herald, One Herald Plaza, Miami, FL 33132, or send e-mail to aveciana(at)herald.com.
(c) 2009, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.
Each feature includes both an expert tip and an easy recipe - exactly what you need to transform your home cooking from acceptable to delectable.
Wolfgang Puck Recipes Click Here