Friday, January 6, 2017

The Dance of the Grandmother

I remember having our first baby ~ way back in 1987 ~ Eldest was born in Toronto at a hospital. Somehow I avoided many interventions, and after five days we returned home, and I learned about being a parent and mother and I learned how powerful and primal it all is.

Becoming a parent lifted me out of the dysfunction I had lived with growing up. It was my turning point, and I ran with it, finding my Own Way, making different choices than my sisters had made, than my mother had made. Very different from my in-laws, causing much concern and friction over the years with sister-in-laws.

It sounds trivial when I write that becoming a mother changed my life. I would not say this when in the company of my friends who do not have children, but it is my truth. Becoming a parent made me look long and hard at my own childhood. It made me reject what had been wrong, and embrace those [few] happy, safe memories...

It became my goal as a young mother that my children would have a safe home. A home where they didn't have to feel nervous. They didn't have to feel shame. They could come home after school, after a bad day, and know that home was home. It was warm, it was mellow, the adults were adults and the adults looked after the children.

I changed my past. 

I have been thinking deeply about my role as a grand-parent, as the birth looms [today we are thinking!]. I see how my sister Kathy became a super-grandparent. She and her husband re-defined themselves as grand-parents. It annoys me that they have been absorbed into the family units of their children. I have to take a breath - and let it out. 

I am terrified that I will become that grand-mother. That I will lose myself in the children of my children. 

And then I breathe in again, and out... And I know that I will be myself. I will be there for them, and I will also be here for myself. This is the truth. I will Dance the Dance of Grand-mother.

I just have to learn it.


  1. Exciting times! Looking forward to hearing the announcement of the baby's arrival!

  2. Yes, something to really look forward to. When I held my first grandchild in my arms, I felt my circle had become complete.
    Don't lose sight of Lois....don't let anyone take Lois out of you. I know exactly of which you write.

    1. Thank you Karen, sometimes I feel selfish because I don't want to be consumed. :) Lois

  3. I lost you for a while but happily found you today, I have been away from blogging but binge read yours this morning, it was so good to catch up and your art is so very very beautiful,, each piece holds so much meaning and substance, , not all fluff and nothingness, ,, congratulations on the upcoming birth,, you are an inspiration and your writing I connect with so strongly,,

    1. Thank you Laurie! you are a kindred spirit. :) I hope you are doing well, and staying warm!