There are a lot of ladies in my family, and I’m not just talking about my two girls, three nieces and two sisters-in-law. My girls are fortunate enough to know the slightly older generations as well.
I call these women the Grands and the Greats. They include three grandmothers (my mother in-law and my two moms), a great grandmother, a great-great aunt, and a handful of great aunts. I should also acknowledge the many other great aunts in our family who the girls don’t know quite as well, but they share their love all the same.
The lessons imparted by these women are unlike those bestowed by my generation. While I may get wrapped up in reminding my kids to use their manners, practice their letters and colors, and step outside of their proverbial boxes, the Grands and Greats can effortlessly focus on how to love fully, act with kindness, and enjoy the beauty of shared quality time. Not that I don’t do those things, but let’s be honest, it’s just different. I smother my kids with kisses and cuddles, and we say I love you as many times as my daughter asks to watch Paw Patrol, but it’s not the same. The Grands and Greats are special. They can:
- Stay in the pool with you so you can swim, just a little bit longer
- Show you how volunteering at the food pantry is not only the right thing to do, but also fun!
- Have you for a sleepover so you can feel like the world really does revolve around you
- Support your “creative freedom” to wear what you really want
- Sit in the special chair to read a book each time they visit, even though you’re too big to sit on her lap
- Pretend to eat the play-doh cookies for hours on end
- Take you to all the fun spots around New York City until you’re pretty sure she owns the place
- Squeal with joy when she gets you another singing Elsa…and also an Anna so you and your sister don’t have to fight about it anymore
- Do crazy crafts that leave the room looking like a glitter tornado blew threw
- Bring you outside at 7am to play, feed the chickens, or appreciate a quiet walk with the birds
I often think about how lucky I was to grow up having sleepovers at my great grandmother’s house, going on trips to New York City commandeered by grandmother who worked (and part-time lived) there, and living with parents who were “young.” As I face an upcoming birthday, I think about how at my age my mom had kids who were 12, 10, and 7, while mine are 3 1/2 and 2. I used to worry that my children wouldn’t be able to enjoy the women who shaped and supported me because I started having kids “later.” But those worries stopped almost as soon as they started. With Grands and Greats like these, I have nothing to worry about.
Latest posts by Emily Perillo (see all)
- Thirty-Five Years Old and I Still Depend on my Mom for… - March 7, 2017
- Peace Out 2016 - December 15, 2016
- Remembering with Love - December 14, 2016