Grandma, What Big Changes You’ve Made

As a 21st century grandma, you’re nothing like your own grandmas, who probably smelled of lavender and Ivory soap and kept a cloth handkerchief tucked up their sleeve. They darned socks, canned peaches and never came close to being cool. You wouldn’t have wanted them any other way.

You’d find them in the kitchen most of the time, where they doled out fresh-baked goodies and sage advice in equal measure. “Don’t wish your life away,” one of your apron-clad grannies might exclaim as she pulled a tray of heavenly cinnamon rolls out of the oven. “Summer vacation will be here soon enough.”

Or “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” your other grandma would scold when you made disparaging remarks about friends or siblings while helping her stir the fudge.

Barely seeming scoff-worthy back then, these pearls of wisdom are now among the life lessons you want to pass on to your grandkids, along with the importance of flossing and the fine art of conversation that isn’t digitally generated.

Today’s Supergrannies are light-years beyond the generations of grandmas that came before. Some of you are running marathons and companies. Some of you are even flying into outer space.

Yet it seems like only yesterday that you couldn’t decide if you were more devoted to John, Paul, George or Ringo,  so you carved all four names into your notebook. Plus the initials of that cuter-than-cute guy who sat behind you in science class. Then you wrote about him in your diary.

One day you were selling Girl Scout cookies door-to-door. The next day you were going steady with a boy whose hair was longer than yours. Your boots were definitely made for walkin’, and your adventurous spirit was eager to tag along.

Alas, your days of cutting out Katy Keene paper dolls and slipping Fabian’s picture under your pillow each night are in the past. You’re wearing granny glasses for real these days and, whoops, was that another hot flash? (Open freezer door, insert head.)

But you identify as much with the women of Sex and the City as you do with The Golden Girls. And while it may seem as if you’ve gone from blue jean baby to the Red Hat Society in no time at all, you’ve still got it and it’s getting better every day.

So forget the rocking chair. Place your order without delay for that personalized license plate you’ve been thinking about. You know the one: HOTGRMA. You go, girl.

 

Diana J. Ewing is the author of The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Grandparenting

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