I have to tell you, I am so totally excited about becoming a Grandma I can hardly stand it. Not that I’m trying to wish away my life. I’m not. I’m thoroughly enjoying being a mother and with my youngest only in first grade, thoughts of the next generation are probably a bit premature. Still, it’s nice to have something to look forward to in life, and also it’s good to have some clearly defined goals. I’m here to tell you that when it comes to being a grandma, my goals are clear as crystal.
First and most importantly, I’d like to be ambulatory. I had my kids a bit later in life, and so sadly this is a valid concern. But I do love an active grandmother. One of my own grandmas was quite excessively ambulatory, to the point where she once crashed her car on the way to the dog races, taking out a retaining wall in the process. Oh, how we all love that story. She went to the dog races anyway. God bless her gambling little heart.
I would also like to wear bright red or fuchsia lipstick, pretty much all the time. Maybe even purple on occasion. And then I would like to kiss my grandchildren’s little faces, at least once every time I see them, so that my then-grown kids will say, “Mom! How many times do I have to tell you to stop leaving lipstick marks all over the baby!” And I will say, “Well, I’m shooting for at least as many times as I had to tell you to get your homework done/get dressed/get your teeth brushed etc. So, a lot.” I think that will be really fun.
Another thing: I want to be very comfortable in my clothing. I already am, for the most part, mainly due the existence of elastic-waisted apparel such as yoga pants and leggings. So fingers crossed that they’re still in style 30 or so years from now. I also envision a lot of blanket-type attire, and when I go out, I will wear as much sparkly jewelry as I can feasibly combine with any particular outfit. Maybe there will even be a few pieces of sparkly blanket-type clothing. Who knows! All I do know is that when I am dead, I want my children and grandchildren to shake their heads and howl with laughter as they go through my things trying to find an heirloom or two.
As for the laughter, I’m hoping it’s not a thing that happens only after I’m dead. No, I’d prefer my grandchildren to think I am hilarious while I am still alive. Once, my own grandma jumped out of a window after locking herself in her bedroom. She was pretty old at the time but thankfully had the foresight to throw all of her pillows and blankets out first, thus providing for a safer and more comfortable landing. I got a phone call from my mother that day: “Well, Grandma jumped out the window.” Now that was funny. To tell you the truth it still makes me chuckle.
One thing I regret – if you can have regrets in advance – is that I probably will not be doing a whole lot of baking. I can’t imagine that I’ll have time, between the book tours and baseball games and so forth. Don’t get me wrong, though. I will most certainly have cookies and other baked items at my house, it’s just that they will come from a bakery and not from my own loving heart. But I think that’s fine. If my grandkids want my house to smell like sugar cookies, I will tell them there are candles for that and to go buy me one. Also, I am hoping that my kids will feed their children in a much healthier manner than the manner in which they themselves have been raised. In which case, any old cookie will probably be a big treat for them.
You know one other thing I won’t do, is to always be imparting some life lesson or other, except maybe by accident. It’s really only the accidental lessons that kids listen to, anyway. You can beat them over the head with whatever moral of whatever story, and within minutes there they are, running off to do the stupid thing you spent half an hour sermonizing about. I’m pretty sure I won’t have the patience for that kind of crap. Lead not by word but by example, that’s what I always say. Or will say. When the time comes.
As for my own kids, I will probably drive them crazy. I hope I will drive them crazy because I kind of feel like I owe them that. “God,” my kids will say, “you drive me crazy.” And I will tell them, “Good. That’s how it’s supposed to be. Your parents get old, they drive you crazy, that’s just life and so suck it up, Buttercup.” But my grandkids will be blind to all my faults. They can come visit me and we’ll play Boggle or Scrabble, swear words will be permitted, and we’ll eat our bakery cookies in the glow of our sugar-scented candle. Assuming one of them actually does buy it for me, but I know they will. Because I will be that kind of Grandma.