OMG! I'm Going to Be a Grandmother! Wait. What Does a Grandmother DO?
By Denise on April 25, 2012
BlogHer Original Post
My son-in-law was released from the boat and came home to put the crib and dresser changing table combo thingy together. There's been a virtual baby shower and an in-real-life baby shower. Jenn is starting to complain a little bit because 36 weeks feels a whole lot more pregnant than 35 weeks. I'll be in Hawaii in a few weeks and Johnny Mac Pippin will be here soon and I'm back to saying, "OMG I'm Going to Be a Grandmother!" again.
It's also started to hit me that I don't exactly know what that means.
I had grandmothers of my own, certainly. They were awesome. My grandmother was really my favorite person for ... forever. I have some of her furniture and some of her pictures and some of her junk scattered all around my house. She was a good grandmother. But I am not my grandmother and I'm not so sure I'm going to be that kind of grandmother.
My mother and ex-mother-in-law and TW's mom are all grandmothers, obviously. And all very fantastic grandmothers -- each in her own way. But -- I'm not them, either.
I'm ... different... in case you hadn't noticed. And I'm not even talking about the whole lesbian factor, though there is that to think about. Will it be a problem for him? OK, of course it will, at some point, be a problem for him. That's the kind of world we live in. But what kind of problem will it be and how do you handle that kind of problem? I guess we'll find out, won't we?
But besides that gay grandmother thing, what does a grandmother in 2012 do? Where's the What to Expect When Your Daughter's Expecting handbook? Where's The Grandmother's Almanac? I went over to Amazon and surfed the grandparenting self-help books... and they scared me. I don't see myself there anywhere. I had some hope for Grandparents Rock, but reading the first couple of pages turned me off. I don't think it's really my style.
Sassymonkey asked me if I was going to read Anne Lamott's new book, Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son. My response was an adamant NO. But TW said, "Why not?" I reminded her that I do not like Anne Lamott. She shrugged. I glared and surfed the grandparenting books again. They made the idea of reading Anne Lamott's book less ridiculous. How bad could it be? Certainly not any worse than any other option I'd run across.
I downloaded the book to the Kindle app on my iPhone and I read it very quickly. It was unpolished and unfinished. It felt like I was reading someone's draft blog posts and not the finished blog posts. I don't understand why the book was published without some serious edits. I like raw writing. But this book wasn't raw and real. It felt rough, rushed and unfinished.
The bigger problem with Some Assembly Required is that I cannot relate to Anne Lamott -- not as a woman, not as a mother and certainly not as a grandmother. She's just nothing like me. Not one thing like me. I guess I knew that going in but I thought some kind of growth (either hers or mine) might have taken place and changed that. I also thought I might see some TW in there but I didn't. The spiritual, earthy, mothering pieces that I expected to find weren't there. Lamott was just whiny, neurotic, and obsessive. Sometimes she was just plain mean.
No, Some Assembly Required is not the grandmothering book I wanted to read and Anne Lamott is not the grandmother I want to be.
I guess I'm going to just have to go with the flow and figure it out as I go. In the meantime, I'd love to hear your grandmothering stories and take any grandparenting book or blog recommendations you might have.
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