herald

Thursday 31 July 2014

I thought I'd be the wise Nana... but they teach ME

WHEN my kids were terrible teenagers I used to tell them I hoped I'd live long enough to see them have teenagers of their own. What sweet revenge that would be. That's about to happen this summer and it's a whole different world this gran is facing than when she was a mum.

I used to see myself being the benevolent Nana teaching them (there are five of them from 12 to two and half) all sorts of things, instead they are teaching me -- so much -- and keeping me up to date.

It's a delightful phase in life and one to be anticipated, savoured and thoroughly enjoyed. I've seen it change selfish and self-absorbed friends into caring people and I openly admit it's changed me and made me nicer, too.

I'm more patient than I ever was and I've learned that it's not worth getting fazed about a broken ornament, the demise of a favourite mug or orange juice all over the carpet. It doesn't matter that the remote batteries vanish for days after a visit -- I can still change channels on the top of the box.

They're only things and things don't matter, compared to a hug and a sticky kiss.



SNAKES

What matters is the love we share, unconditionally, unless there are jelly snakes in their wine gum jar, but once they're eaten the balance is restored.

The older ones grab the laptop, correct some pagination for me and show me their latest projects. Yes, they're going to Coder-Dojo. (I know, I had to ask too and, of course, I think they are geniuses!) Time was they could record things for me, now they're asking would I like them to design a web page for me?

I can spend hours with the younger ones, playing with Lego, rearranging the train tracks around the floor, colouring, reading and rereading and I don't have to feel guilty. Time doesn't matter when I'm with them. It's precious and heart warming and needs to be enjoyed.

Yes, this Gran business has a whole lot to recommend it!

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