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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Perfect Love: Arriving in April

by Chris Brady

Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild.
                                                                                                    ~Welsh Proverb
The reality of becoming a grandmother has been percolating in my mind since learning my daughter-in-law was expecting. And now it is even more real as we know the baby is a girl. I have six months to study up on grand-parenting. 

And I can't help but wonder, what kind of grandmother will I be.

I have great role models: my mom and my mother-in-law come easily to mind.  Each in her own way forged strong bonds with my son, spending a lot of quality time with him. My mom was the first phone call when school would phone me that he was sick and I was stuck at work. And my mother-in-law would take him for spring break in Florida and a summer week in North Carolina. He hit the mother-lode in grandmothers.

A granddaughter seems like such a gift to me as a mother of a son. I recall my own
Nannie and me circa 1960.
experience as a granddaughter, and memories of my maternal grandmother “Nannie” still make me smile.

She wasn’t a cool grandmother in the modern sense, and I can’t say that she imparted any great wisdom that guided my decisions (more likely I wasn’t paying attention). But I remember her presence throughout my life, and I treasure the things we did together, just her and me.

I used to stay overnight with her a few days a week when I was in high school. She was about 85 at the time, living with my aunt, who was often away. We would walk to the Acme, which was about a half mile away, to shop for dinner. This involved crossing the six lanes of the Roosevelt Boulevard with no traffic light. When I would hesitate at the sight of oncoming traffic she would jog into the street in her black old lady shoes fearless of the danger, pulling me along for the run.

 “They wouldn't dare hit an old lady,” she proclaimed. And three lanes of cars would stop for us, with not a beep out of them.  

I won't be running in traffic with my new granddaughter, but I hope we share some adventures together so that she can smile about our time together after I'm gone.

Arriving in April 2015, she has no idea how much love awaits her.

Share your grandmother stories so that I learn from the pros.


  1. Chris, I love the Welsh proverb. And, if you combine this post with your recent one about when to retire, you just might find the "perfect" reason to make it sooner vs. later.
    Love the picture of you and Nana. Wish I had one like it with my Nannie.

  2. I thought about that too as I wrote this post. Lots of time to know and love baby J.

  3. I adored my Grandmom. I think a grandparent can be the closest thing we have to unconditional love, and I was lucky enough to have that. I remember her as a constant in my young life, having us for Sunday dinners, staying with her when my parents went away, her tucking me in with a "Good night and God Bless you." We played Scrabble, and very occasionally, I would win. When we traveled as a family, we shared a room. As a newlywed, I lived a few blocks away from her, and she came to my apartment, taught me how to make her roast beef dinner, her turkey stuffing, her apple crisp. I would go to mass and breakfast with her and her girlfriends.

    I've written a lot more about her if you'd like to read more here: I think the best thing is to just show up, be yourself, and love the child as they are.