I. am. a. grandma.
That seems so . . . not right. Not that I don't like being a grandma. I do. I really, really do. (And it is true what they say. Grandkids ARE indeed the reward you get for not killing your children.) I never knew I could love a little thing so much.
It is just that, no matter what way I turn it, I don't FEEL like a grandma.
When I think of what a grandma is, I think of MY grandma. We called her Grandmama and she lived next door. She was only 61 when I was born but, in 1963, 61 was OLD.
She was tall and skinny and frail, with a gray poodle-puff hairdo that had to be set by the lady at the beauty parlor every Friday morning. She wore stockings and a girdle and skirts and dresses and pumps and hairspray. Every day. Her nails were perfectly manicured and polished. She drove a big, fancy Cadillac and drove it very carefully. She had a pink bathroom and she always smelled of roses. She had to eat delicately, owing to a troubled digestion, and always drank her iced tea half-strength. She was cold, all the time, and thus made me wear a sweater. Even in July. Even if I wasn't cold.
I, on the other hand, am far from frail. I must admit that without the help of Lady Clairol I would sport a disturbingly large mop of gray but it would be far from a poodle-puff. I don't think my hair would puff. Ever. I can't even bring myself to cut it short, like my mother said all women over thirty should do. I've never worn a girdle. I hate panty hose. I don't own a pair of pumps.
I eat anything I jolly well please (minus shrimp and peanuts, due to allergies, and weird animals, because that is just gross). I like my tea strong and my coffee stronger. I prefer a 5-speed vehicle of any kind but my dream ride is an old truck. I do a cartwheel every year on my birthday, just to prove I can.
I spend my time on the floor with my granddaughter or outside pushing her in the swing or around in the wheelbarrow or carrying her around the neighborhood in a backpack. I've taken her to show houses and attend home inspections. Next week she will go to her first, but likely not last, real estate closing.
She has taken to wanting to stand on the dining room table. You can't blame her. She's short. One day I decided to see what the big deal was and determined that standing on a table does have a certain level of appeal. She may be on to something. I have trouble picturing my grandmother standing on a table just for fun.
Several years ago I had the habit of, when typing my name, of getting my right hand off a bit. On several occasions I looked down to see my name not as Ginny, but Gubby. It wasn't long before that became a nickname of sorts and it was determined that this is what our grandchildren would call me—light years in the future, of course. Those light years didn't last too long and I became Gubby at 48.
Of course, little 15-month-old Bundle of Wonderfulness can't say Gubby. She calls me Bubba, or some variation thereof, which I guess fits well with my overall-clad, hillbilly persona. But she knows I will answer to whatever she calls me.
So the next time you see me, don't ask how I like being a grandma. Ask how I like being a Gubby. I will answer that I wouldn't trade it for the world.