- “Tutu” which is what my two grand daughters call me (Hawaiian for grand mother, the name stuck when Lana was a toddler after I brought her a book about a Tutu who taught her grand daughter Lanilai how to do the Hula). Or if they are feeling sassy, it’s “Tut” or “Tutukamen.”
Don’t get me wrong, being a mom is the most amazing experience ever and my children have been my greatest source of love, joy, and heart opening – and grief and every emotion imaginable when they are going through a hard time, whatever their ages – imaginable. Having children is literally like having pieces of your heart running around outside of you.
But being a grandmother… well, its’ all the joys of motherhood, but without quite the same angst and responsibility. And having seen it all, been through it all, weathered it all with my own kids, and having grown a little older and hopefully a lot wiser, being a grand parent is… what can I say? Pretty much pure joy. Not that, as one of my fellow grandmother friends puts it, “worry wart grandma” doesn’t sneak in now and then.
Of course it does. Having grandchildren is also like having pieces of your heart running around outside of you. Especially the tender, vulnerable, wide open to all that life has to offer, pieces. Just as with your children, you want to protect them from life’s challenges, but you know you can’t. And so you just love them, and trust their journeys, and allow your heart to break open, again and again, with both happiness and sadness.
Being a grand mother is indeed a joy beyond measure…. and being blessed to experience both an aging parent and growing young ones together is a double joy, one that I am infinitely grateful for. There is something indescribably precious about witnessing the beginning years of life, and the ending years of life, hand in hand. Learning from both, feeling tenderly protective of both, marveling at the mystery of Life itself as it flows through our bodies, young and old.