Every grandmother has her story. I may not know each of you personally, but I know that, like me, you’ve had loves and losses, trials and triumphs. But where does that story live – other than in your heart and mind?
For those of us with grandchildren, or “Grands” as I like to call them, there comes a point in our lives when we begin to think about this life story and how our Grands will remember us. This is our legacy, and it means everything. What is yours?
Today’s 21st-century grandmother is so different than grandmothers from yesteryear. And yet, in so many ways we are the same.
I am convinced there is an unspoken bond between a grandmother and her grandchild. I loved and admired my grandfathers, as I am sure you did, but I loved and had a bond with both my grandmothers that was beyond. Oh, how I admired them!
I can recall listening to my grandmothers’ tones of voice and their laughter. I mimicked their mannerisms, style of dress, and even the way they decorated their table for the holidays.
From generation to generation… we are now the grandmothers, and we have the same internal bond with our grandchildren as we did with our grandmothers.
And yet, we are different in many ways. One very interesting way we differ is that many grandmothers today choose the title by which their Grands refer to them. She may pick, Abuelita or Bubbie or Grandma or, in my case, “Honey.”
We have also broken the stereotype of who a grandmother is. We are not just needling and baking cookies! (Although both are wonderful endeavors.)
Some grandmothers have traveled the world, and others go near and far by watching National Geographic on their television screen, or they read books on the history and cultures of places around the world, that pique their fancies.
Still other grandmothers have blended families, some live with their grandchildren, and others live far away from family. One thing we all have is that bond, that tie, that love between grandchild and grandmother. Which brings up another concern…
Many of us live a distance away from our Grands. But you can stay connected! (If you didn’t know how to Zoom before 2020, you certainly know now!) With a big, bustling family – including 25 grandchildren – I think it’s fair to say, I’m a pro.
I know it can be challenging, and disheartening, when attempting to stay connected to far away Grands, but it can be done. And it is worth the effort.
Start by embracing technology! It’s fine to send cards and gifts; however, don’t become upset if you don’t receive phone calls and letters in return. Today’s kids do everything on their smartphones and the savvy grandmother stays connected by communicating with them on their level.
Also, encourage your adult children and your Grands to send pictures – via text or social media, of course – as often as possible. Pictures and videos are no longer for special occasions, as today’s young adults are accustomed to capturing absolutely everything digitally! That’s a win for grandparents like us.
It’s time to get social, grandparents. Your adult kids and Grands are! They likely use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Snapchat daily. Get to know these networks as much as you can – if you haven’t already.
I realize you did not grow up with this technology as your Grands did, but you are a 21st-century grandmother… you got this!
It is essential that you share your heritage with your Grands. This is why I am so excited to share with you my book, Stories for my Grandchild. This book is a way for you to leave – in a gorgeous, hard-bound journal – your life story.
I wanted you to be able to leave, in your words, a book your grandchildren would press to their heart and think, “This is my grandmother. She is part of me.” This is your life story to share with your grandchildren. Every grandchild wants to hear stories from their grandmother about her life.
I have written questions for you to answer in your handwriting. My questions invite you to tell the story of your life. You are writing your memoir, a keepsake to be passed down from generation to generation.
The book is a keepsake journal of your life, your values, your family history, and your wisdom and dreams for your Grands that you will pen in your own words and gift to your Grands as a ‘keeper’, a lifetime heirloom.
What do your grandchildren call you? How do you stay connected to grandchildren near and far? Have you found effective ways to pass on your life’s values to your grandchildren? Please share your creative ideas with our community!