I’ve heard it said a million times: If I knew how much fun it was to be a grandparent I would have done that first!

I have loved my kids with a fierce passion. It has been my every thought and life's work to help them grow into the wonderful, caring, responsible people they are, so I always took umbrage with the grandparenting thing being a better thing. I am now the grandmother of 4 little girls……..now I get it.

Being a grandma or nana as I’m currently called is so fabulous! Yes I love them, I feel responsible for them, I worry about them, but I am not responsible for the general care and welfare of these little ones. I do not have to be the bad guy that parents frequently have to be. I do not have to say no to candy before dinner, or wonder if that tantrum will become an obstacle in their lives. I do not have to worry about homework when they get older or whether they come in on time from curfew. My job as a nana is to love them, just love them.

I hope as they get older that we will have a great relationship. I hope for cookie baking parties and I hope to teach them some home making skills that are fast disappearing from this world. I hope to be able to talk to them about things that make a difference in their lives, things that maybe they are just sure their parents couldn’t possibly understand! I hope to be that safe place to land when they feel a need to run away from home. I hope to spoil them just enough and love them with my whole heart. I hope to leave them with lots of stories and fond memories of grandma when my time on this earth is over. I hope they sit with their little ones someday and tell them stories of grandma.

Being a grandparent means you don’t have to worry about the everyday things, the mundane things, the things you have to teach children over and over and hope it takes. Being a grandparent means you get to hold, laugh, snuggle, babysit, have special treats, coax a smile from a frowny face. Being a grandparent means reading stories and watching Elmo over and over until you know every word by heart. Being a grandparent means giving the parents a much needed break, because they are after all the ones doing the heavy lifting. Being a grandparent means always having a little treat in your pocket or purse for little hands to find, it means the joy of hugs and kisses and having little bodies run at you screaming your name and hugging the stuffing out of you.

These little girls are just little. We have so many years left to watch them grow and change and become the women they will be someday. They will probably be joined by other little ones and we will love them all. The only thing we know right now is that when they smile, we melt, when they say our names, we come running, when they need us, we try all we can to be there. We look forward to the years ahead, we look forward to the learning they will go through and the learning we have yet to do to become better and better grandparents.

Now after all this, the thing I hear now from my husbands parents is…….a great grandparent is the only thing to be! Hmmmmmm apparently no matter how much I’m loving this stage of life, the best is yet to be!