The Granny Who Stands On Her Head
BY ANN RICHARDSON
Somewhere in the middle of my seventies, I realized that I liked being old.
Now that I am 80, I feel this with even greater certainty. I love the stronger relationships with friends and family that come with age. I also love the much-increased confidence and the sense of growing into ourselves – and liking ourselves – that is almost always part of the package.
And, of course, I love being a grandmother, as the grandmother-grandchild relationship is incredibly special.
I found myself feeling so strongly about all these issues that, being a writer already, I wrote a book about it: The Granny Who Stands on her Head: Reflections on Growing Older. This offers a serious exploration of many both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ aspects of growing older but comes down, without any doubt, to a very positive view.
Since GRAND is about being a grandparent, let me illustrate the pleasure of this status with one story.
I have been involved with my two grandsons since they were first born – and was the first person to hold the older one when he first emerged via caesarean section from the womb.
But a few weeks ago, I took the younger grandson away for five days to Paris for the first time. This is not far, as we live in London.
I became, for the first time in many years, a true tourist. We went to the Eiffel Tower; we walked around Notre Dame which is still in the process of being restored and we floated down the Seine on a Bateau Mouche (the riverboat for tourists).
We ate croissants and delicious ice cream. We had leisurely walks where we could talk and explore ideas. It was such a joy to take all this in through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy.
I do recommend taking a trip alone with a grandchild. There is such mutual benefit.
I know he will remember this trip for the rest of his life. And so, will I.
And yes, I do stand on my head, which can be viewed here.
Read more in GRAND from Ann Richardson here
If you’re interested in learning how to do a headstand, check out this
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ann Richardson writes articles on all sorts of subjects. Her most recent book, The Granny Who Stands on her Head, comprises a series of reflections on growing older and is partly a memoir. She has written numerous other books, including Celebrating Grandmothers. Born in the United States, Ann lives with her husband in London. Learn more about Ann here.