A Grandparent’s Job
When you look into your mother’s eyes, you know that is the purest love you can find on this earth.
While my daughter did not have any grandfathers, she was blessed with two wonderfully diverse grandmothers. “Nana” and “Momo” each played an important part in my daughter’s life. One particular evening when I was busy with the usual chaos in our household, my mother, Nana, offered to give my daughter her bath. While I cleared the dinner dishes, I heard the usual laughter and exclamations that accompanied the bath time of a five-year-old, followed by a period of what seemed to be a serious whispered conversation.
After bath time, my mom came out to the kitchen and joined me in putting away the leftovers. She told me that she and Francesca had had a talk.
“I just want you to know that everything is alright,” my mom said.
“What do you mean everything is alright? I didn’t know anything was wrong.” “No, it’s all good. She just needed to talk,” my mom said with a confidence I
certainly did not feel.
“Mom, I really need to know what she talked to you about.”
“Oh, that’s between a granddaughter and her nana.”
We had been through a lot in my daughter’s first five years of life—with my
mother’s cancer, my husband’s cancer and him losing his job. We worried about how she processed all the stress that had transpired. We were always very open, answering any questions in a way a child her age could understand. So why could she not approach us? I felt a stab in my heart, followed by the immediate sense of fear that someone had hurt her. When I pressed my mom about it, she said not to worry. Not worry? Really?
I turned to my mom and said, “Why couldn’t she ask me?”
My mother replied that she had asked Francesca the very same question, to which she had replied, “I know my mom and dad love me, but their job is to decide if I am doing right or wrong. You, Nana, just need to love me.”
I never did find out what that whispered conversation was about—my mother has since passed, and Francesca can’t remember—but I was grateful that my daughter had a confidante she could trust.
It has been thirty-two years since that conversation, but since I became a “Nana,” I totally understand. I hope that I can be the confidante to my grandsons that my mother was to my daughter.
A grandparent’s job is not to judge, but to simply love. Oh, how I love my job.