When our first grandchild was about to enter our world, my son Michael called and told us they were off to the hospital and we should "stand by. Michael came out of the delivery room to announce that Rachel was forty-five minutes old and beautiful.
A funny thing happened to my first-born son when he had his first (and only) daughter. Michael became the self-appointed father of the year. He knew everything there was to know about fathering. Michael was in charge of Rachel. He had rules for taking care of her. And all of them applied to me. Their first-time grandma stories were as funny as mine. There were a lot of us running around creating chaos. It was an epidemic of know-nothing grandmas who needed to learn a whole lot about taking care of babies. It tickled my fancy and my funny bone. There was only one way to get even. Luckily, my son Michael has a sense of humour.
The "rules and regulations" slowly disappeared when Michael's son Jake was born, and by the time their third child, Matt, was here, they were such laid-back parents, they would give me the kids on a moment's notice. As they pulled out of the driveway after dropping my grandkids off one afternoon, they yelled, "Have fun, don't bring them back until next week, and do anything you want." Meanwhile, our daughter Dina married and produced three daughters bing, bang, boom. Kelsey and Amanda are eighteen months apart and Alexis is two years younger. But life just happens and they grow up as you grow old.
Bryna Nelson Paston is an overjoyed grandmother of six, age ten to seventeen, whom she calls "the music of my universe." Formerly an editor of the Jewish Times (Philadelphia), she has written for numerous national magazines and newspapers. She lives in Fort Washington, PA.