Sunday, February 04, 2018

I Just Want to Be a Grandma

When asked what goals I hope to achieve in life, career and travel are not at the top of the list – and I love my travelling. What do I want more than anything when I look to the future? To be a grandma. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I am in any rush and I don't even love the baby stage and all that comes with it. I want to be a grandma because that means that I will be alive whenever (if ever) my kids have children of their own. I will make it to my 50's and hopefully through to my 80's but I'll take 70's if I "have to".

Photo of mom with three kids

My own mother passed away when I was six months pregnant with our first son. Grieving that loss was an incredibly hard journey that I'm still on. There are daily reminders that she is absent from our lives. I chat with grandmas in the school pick up line, I hear them cheering for the grandkids in hockey, and couples go on vacation because grandma can watch the kids. Even if you don't leave your home you see proud grandmas on Facebook and Instagram with their grandchildren. Everywhere is the reminder that she is gone and I am a motherless mom. I do have inlaws and my dad and his wife in our lives but there is something unique and special about your own mother.

I can imagine calling her and having her ask and deeply care about how I'm doing. I picture her making us a pot of chicken soup when the kids were sick or when we were in the newborn stage. I know she would have walked alongside me in both celebrations and struggles on this parenting journey. She was always so proud of us and we knew her support never waivered. We would have sat down with a cup of tea and homemade cookie and talked about how motherhood has changed and yet remained the same. She would try to learn the newest words as I can still picturing her working "word" and "sweet" into her vocabulary while we laughed with embarrassment and pride. We would have gone for power walks because we enjoyed our route around the neighbourhood – it's the same one I walk with my own kids today. She would have been so proud and I miss her support because if anyone needs a cheerleader in life, it's a mom.

This weekend we went to a memorial for my husband's grandma who lived well into her 90's. What a gift to celebrate a full life – there is little sorrow in that. Her motto had been "In everything give thanks" and I realize that I am fortunate to have had such a stable and loving upbringing which I would take over a mom who was still around and yet not there for me emotionally or physically. I am grateful that I can be a mother myself. I recognize that everyone has something they may wish was different in their life and this is mine: I wish my mom was around to support me in the parenting journey.

I remember my dad saying he just wanted to live to be 52 years old because that meant he had outlived the age at which his own father died. I thought it was silly at the time but now I fully understand. Except I don't want to live to be 54 (my mom passed away at 53) because that is less than 15 years away. I want more. When people complain about getting older all I can think is "Congratulations! You made it another year. Appreciate all that your body can do as it continues to carry you through life." My own body may have an extra five (okay, ten) pounds but it can still do everything that I want and need it to do. I am very grateful for my health.

For now I will continue to embrace aging and hope that one day I will be called grandma...or oma. Can you relate to goals based on life's circumstances?

Future Oma (or Grandma) Louise

What is one of my greatest goals in life? To live to meet my grandkids (and hopefully enjoy a long time with them).

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