I was walking my youngest grandson to pre-school one day when he asked, “Grandma, why don’t you work?” I asked him what he meant since I was unsure what he was really asking. His response indicated what he had noticed…that Mommy and Daddy, and G.C. (my partner and his other local grandma) all left in the morning and went to work but that I didn’t do that. As I began to explain to him about working from my home office and that I worked part time so I had time to do other things like playing with him, I was in touch with how incredibly grateful I am to be a part of my grandsons daily lives.
If you are of grandparent age, you may too feel the blessings and responsibility of this special role; or you may feel the heart ache of family challenges and loss. Perhaps you don’t have the opportunity for biological grandchildren. However, we all can participate in the responsibility of grandparenting the children of the earth, to paraphrase Alice Walker. An interactive workshop offered at St Mary’s in the East Bay offers guidance in Conscious Grandmothering as a responsibility and a path to leadership. http://www.stmarys-ca.edu/academics/schools/school-of-liberal-arts/centers-and-institutes/grad-leadership-center/learning-opportunities/workshops/item-display.html?id=4536&catId=368
My daughter and her family live on the first floor and we live on the second floor of our 2-flat San Francisco Victorian. Our extended family arrangement means easy Grandma child care, opportunities for frequent playing and Grandma influence through weekly shared meals, walking the boys to school or chauffeuring them to after-school activities. My daughter’s friends are envious of her easy access to child care and my friends are envious of my frequent and regular time with my grandsons. But it is more than just living in the proximity, it is also determining the kind of grandparent you want to be as recommended in the Edwards and Stern book, Intentional Grandparenting: A Contemporary Guide. (Available in The 3rd Act Bookstore).
Beyond the joy grandchildren bring to my heart and the wonderful benefits of our living arrangement, I am looking forward to attending this workshop and learning how I can be a “conscious grandmother” and use my leadership in the world. Won’t you join me?
For other thoughts about using our leadership in the world see http://the3rdact.com/2009/09/giving-forward-by-bev-scott/