I love to be a GrandMa, a Grande-Mère. The triplets call me me "Nana", and look blankly when some of the village people speak of me as their "Oma" (and I am not amused - "Oma" makes me feel a hundred and two years old).
I only see advantages over being a parent (though I was an utterly adoring mother of One):
I feel that I can give unconditional love.
(I know that this should be always and everywhere so, but I confess: not always easy for me).
If you know the Moomin novels by Tove Jansson, (if not: hurry and buy a book - preferable "The Memoirs of Moomin Pappa" or "Tales from Moomin Valley", or "The Moomins and the Great Flood"))" - you also know the "Hemuls" - the ones that always try to better children, doing "educational games" with them, always watching out that the small orphan moomins hold their little tails in a 90 degree angle,... Hemuls paint the rooms of their strict Bauhaus houses in a "Pisi-brown" (Moomins love little turrets and many angles and curlicues) and play in the brass orchestra. Shudder.
I do not want to play "educational games". As a GrandMa I am allowed to be childish, giggly, forgiving and utterly adoring. And to smell good with a powdery rose perfume, wear bright colours (preferably pink) and say in the evening: "More fun tomorrow!"
Parents, even if inside they still are a poetical freedom-loving Mumrik, have to change a bit into the despised "Parkwächter" traffic wardens - parents have the heavy "Pflicht", duty, to educate their child (in our case three at once) to become happy social beings.
I want that too, of course - but although I obey every rule my son and DiL give, I am more lenient, and more relaxed.
And that is such a joy!
Until you become a Grandmother you cannot really appreciate the joys that come along in abundance with them. Adore them, enjoy them, do wonderful things with them, and then hand them back to their parents to do the responsible bits.ReplyDelete
I saw a truly wonderful documentary film only three weeks ago about Finnish illustrator Tove Jansson, the inventor and illustrator of the Moomin stories. It was a really captivating film, which I loved, and one that I would really enjoy seeing again.
Carry on enjoying your three wee girls and read them lots of Moomin stories.
Dear Rosemary, I couldn't imagine it before, how wonderful being a Grandma is.Delete
I always loved children and their huge imagination and the happiness and excitement they get out of everything. To see how their language develops is breathtaking.
I tried to find the documentary on Tove - saw one on arte, but do not believe that it is the same as you mentioned. I will search on!
PS: My son still can quote many sayings of the Moomins :-)
This is the documentary I watched Britta - but not sure whether or not it is available to youXDelete
Dear Rosemary, thank you so much! First I was so glad to be able to enter BBC, registered - and then was disappointed: I can only watch it in the UK. So I see the hanging grapes, but cannot catch them...(The pictures looks so nice!)Delete
Oh, I found out that the DVD is available in Germany in July!! Great!Delete
Hope you enjoy Britta - I loved it.Delete
I have often said that if I had known how wonderful it is to be a grandmother I 2would have had my grandchildren first.ReplyDelete
Haha, dear Mimmilynn - I love that, and in my next life will try to follow your advice :-)Delete
As a parent, I was also the disciplinarian. One of us had to step up and provide structure. I look forward to grandchildren. Hopefully, some day soon and no responsibility for discipline. Just joy and love.ReplyDelete
That's what I feel too, dear Susan: one was so willing to do everything right! For me it got better, when I throw the educational How-to-Books away and followed my guts.Delete
I wish that your longing for grandchildren soon will be fulfilled!
You are doing the grandma job very well.ReplyDelete
Thank you, dear Joanne - as I read your blog such a long time I know that you did a lot more work for your grandchildren - with so good results!ReplyDelete
I greet my 65. follower, Ger, and hope you will like your stay!ReplyDelete
My grandchildren are all teenagers with all the normal worries that face that generation - boyfriends, pimples, getting into the university courses of their choice, money, getting their own flat one day. I have much more free time and patience than their parents, and will discuss almost anything.ReplyDelete
Dear Helen, THAT is the state I'm looking for: discussions (it starts now, sort of), listening, and seeing their view of the world.Delete
At the moment my life is a bit unbalanced - very much time spent in Bavaria, almost none in Berlin - but that will change again, as they become more autonomous every day.
Now I enjoy their cuddles - such a bliss!
The Moomin novels weren't part of my life, although I know their illustrations at a remove. I do enjoy, however, reading about your great delight in grandmothering in triplicate!ReplyDelete
Dear Pip, I am VERY reluctant with recommending literature and myself get sort of rebellious when people try to convince me to read something.Delete
Having said that I stubbornly repeat my recommendation: "Tales from Moomin Valley" for the beginner are a MUST HAVE! Don't believe that these are children books - though of course children love them - no, they are "philosophy in children books".
I know you like Mapp&Lucia, and Elizabeth von Arnim - and though they are of course very different I would be very much surprised if you do not enjoy "The Filifjonka who believed in catastrophes".
Tove Jansson paints characters that are never black or white - as in real life everyone is a mixture of good and bad. And what would I do without all those quotes - dear old Onkelschrompel, who always fears that the others do celebrate their parties behind his back without inviting him (though he is so old now that he can choose what he wants to forget); or the seemingly mysterious Hattifnatten, who sail to the horizon and only become alive when the meet electricity in form of thunderbolts - and the romantic Moominpappa, who admires them because he thinks that they lead a life of wickedness? Or "The Hemul who Loved Silence" and longs for his retirement when he can finally do what he wants - though his noisy relations always try to occupy him with noisy jobs to "cheer him up"? From them is the quote "You can only have as much fun as you create for yourself" - isn't that a pearl of wisdom at its finest?
Another story gave me (and my son) a very helpful question to analyse strange behaviour of some people: "Malice or stupidity?" or should I translate: "Spite or ignorance?" - you see: a good book has many ways to be ruined by a bad translation :-)
If I do not stop now I will gain a new record in lengthy commenting. (Just a hint: when I saw the Moomin-comic strips in our newspaper as a child, black and white drawings, I really detested them - but the books (and please start with "Valley") are a very different cup of tea.
PS: I do NOT earn a Moomin-commission
Well, Britta, I did get my bloomin' Moomin skates on and have tracked this book down! I shall read and think of you :)Delete
Oh great - I hope that it pleases you!Delete
I still read my Moomin books, and Granma Life is the best :-)ReplyDelete
Dear Lisa, still reading one's Moomin books (as I do too) - that might convince Pipistrello! :-)Delete
Grandparents can give them back. Parents can't.ReplyDelete
So true - and I enjoy the time I have for myself too :-)Delete