Editor's Note :
Welcome back to Grandma's Corner - a space for grandmothers to share anything related to grandmotherhood.
From parenting tips and parenting wisdom accumulated over the years, to the different aspects of being a grandparent or just her thoughts on how a grandchild changed their life.
Today's Grandma's Corner is brought to your by Grandma Suma Ravindran. A force to reckon with in many ways, I am honoured to host her thoughts on grand-parenthood on the Times of Amma.
I am now, I believe, in my ultimate role as a woman... A grandmother!
Is this the most blessed of all the roles I have essayed in my life? Definitely not.
I have enjoyed all the others too much to trivialise them now. Enjoyed being a cosseted and cuddled and indulged grandchild, a treasured daughter, an elder sister, a sought after niece, a popular friend, a rowdy cousin, an individualistic wife, a caring sister in law, a firm, yet indulgent mother, mother in law, aunt and teacher,and now a loving, caring, indulging, spoiling, doting grandaunt and grandmother.
Wait a bit.... too many adjectives to describe the last? Well age defies logic.
So yes, being a grandmother is very special. Do I love my grandkids more than their parents? No, I don't. I love them double because they are their children.
With my kids I had to maintain a balance between the love I displayed, and the authority I needed to reserve to nourish and nurture. I wanted them to grow up as good, responsible, law-abiding citizens with a healthy respect for all of mankind. I am proud of the adults they now are. I know that they will also bring their children up with the right values. They don't need my help to do so. Hence, I can cosset and indulge to my heart's content. They will step in to correct any damage caused by my over indulgence.
My father once told me when I complained about his spoiling my kids, that it was the duty of the parent to raise a child up right and the privilege of the grandparents to spoil them rotten. I have never questioned his wisdom and therefore I shall perform my duty to the best of my ability.
When I first knew that I was pregnant with my first child, I could feel the transformation from girl to woman. I had very definite ideas of how to nurture, care and bring up the little one. Every day I added and deleted. I loved the little one so much that I obeyed every grandma's tale that was told. With both my mother and grandmother in residence, a host of aunts and cousins who declared themselves experienced, hence experts, there were lot of contradictions. But obey them all I did.
When my elder son Hari and his wife told me that they were expecting a child, I transformed again, from woman back to a child. I could see myself playing with the little one, recalled and remembered old nursery rhymes and lullabies. I could feel my creaking joints smoothen out, backbone straighten. I had to be in the pink of health to reassure my children that I was up to carrying and caring, running after and washing and feeding.
After a long, impatient wait , on August 25th, 2013, he arrived! My grandson, Shivram Harikrishnan Menon, a bright, boney baby with chubby cheeks , small puckered lips and angelic eyes. Shanthi, his other grandmother and I were so excited that on our way back to their flat, the generally aloof co-travellers in the elevator asked us why we were flying high. I have been flying ever since. Never a good singer, I am ready to compete with Lata Mangeshkar, as both my little ones hang on to every note I sing.
On September 8th, 2015, my little princess came into this world. After two sons and a grandson, we finally have a little girl! My life is full now. Singing, dancing, shouting, reconnecting with the games I used to play, songs I sang, stories I have read and heard. When I am with Shobitha, I connect with Shivram by Skype and vice versa. I thank technology for letting me be with my children daily.
That little hand that rested on my breast while feeding, reassuring me with absolute trust, empowered me more than anything else ever did; the tiny hands holding on tight in a refusal to let go, I once believed them to be treasured memories of a mother. But now I feel just the same when my grandchildren do the same. My promise is not just to the tiny tots, but to my children too. As long as I possibly can, I will walk ahead, beside, behind you all, praying and protecting, caring and loving, as in your good health, physical, psychological and mental wellbeing and prosperity alone lies my happiness.
Thank you Grandma Suma for your touching and lovely words. You are an inspiration!
The Times of Amma wishes you and your grandchildren love, luck, joy and adventure for many, many, more years to come.
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