Don’t Forget the Grandmas This Mother’s Day!
They’re not raising your kids, but they’ve got a really tough job.
-Melina Gerosa Bellows
Have you ever wondered what the other half really thinks?
Believe it or not, I’m not talking about men. I’m talking about the grandparents of our sons and daughters—our mothers and our mothers-in-law.
Who knew that these supposedly mature women are constantly tiptoeing around on eggshells because they’re terrified that if they screw up and say the wrong thing, we’ll judge them or punish them by preventing them from seeing the kids they love so much? (Personally, I’d be happy if my mother came barging through my front door right now and volunteered to take my four- and six-year-olds for the next two weeks.)
In Eye of My Heart: 27 Writers Reveal the Hidden Pleasures and Perils of Being a Grandmother—a New York Times bestseller edited by one of my dear friends, Barbara Graham—well known authors like Elizabeth Berg and Roxana Robinson sound like lovesick teenagers with their first crush when they talk about their grandchildren.
Like I said, who knew?
Since my mother is the only grandmother in our family, I never realized just how competitive your average nanas feel toward one another. I am talking about serious, intelligent professional women having flashbacks to junior high school. In a very funny piece called The Rivals, Judith Viorst confesses her feelings regarding her grandchildren’s other granny: “Yes, fond though we may be of this other woman, and glad though we may be that she loves our grandchildren, and resigned though we may be to the fact that our grandchildren love her back, we are hoping that they love us more. A whole lot more.”