Nov 5, 2012

Sue MacKay on Modern Families and Grandparents.

Reading: Goodbye Sarajevo by Atka Reid & Hana Schofield

Listening to: Adele (again)

Watching: the sun going down behind the hills.

Photo: Pre grandma days.

We are so excited - that's the royal we - in this house.  My step daughter is due to have our first grandchild before Christmas. Grampy Mac (my DB) is beside himself and proclaimed months ago that he was buying this child a fishing rod and a football. What if it's a girl? he was asked often. "I'm buying her a fishing rod and a football."

And his daughter is not surprised. After all, that's how he brought her up, often taking her fishing. Then I came along and introduced her to makeup and hair colour and other girlie things.

But what really intrigues me about this baby is the modern family structure. This child will have seven grandparents. Yep, seven. My stepdaughter's parents both remarried, and her partner's mother remarried so this child is blessed with loads of grandparents. I can see us being played off against one another over theyears. <g> When I grew up I had only one living grandparent and she passed away when I was seven so I had to borrow my girlfriend's grandparents. This is where I see the modern family structure as having a lot to offer.

Did I mention our friends who want to be surrogate grandparents because their children live overseas and aren't likely to move back when they have families? This child is going to be uber loved by oldies. And me.

Grandparents are awesome. They get to have all the fun times and none of the nitty gritty, every day stuff that drives parents crazy. They can be great guides through the ups and downs of growing up. They can be the people to tease and torment and yet still hand out the lollies. They can teach appreication of the "oldies".
Now don't count me in that category. I'm a very young grandmother-to-be, you understand.

I remember my grandmother very well, despite losing her at an early age. She had a green Morris Minor and lived in a tiny house in town that we visited whenever mum went to town for supplies. She loved us all unconditionally. Then there was the lolly jar, always full of Blackballs, and it didn't take much to earn one. I guess I'll have to have a jar of jet planes or jelly snakes. The problem there is that I like those lollies and I can see the grandkiddy missing out. Maybe this grandparenting lark is going to take some practise to get it right but that'll be fun too.

Do you have specialmemories of your grandmother/ Or grandfather?
A copy of Christmas With Dr Delicious is up there for someone who answers.


  1. Sue, congratulations on your impending grandparenthood!

    I was lucky in that I had 3 of my grandparents plus a step-gran when I was very young. Lots of nice memories there. One of my faves is of Christmas and standing on a stool to help my grandma stir the Christmas pudding mix in a huge bowl. Those were in the days when you might be lucky enough to find a silver coin in your serving of hot Christmas pudding. I found out later that she used to keep spare coins when serving the pud, and slip an extra in where it looked like one of the children didn't already have a coin in theirs so no one missed out. I had no idea grans could be so tricky.

  2. Annie, your gran was special to do that, yes, and tricky, but who wants to see a child miss out? I'm sure you'll have a few tricks up your sleeve when it's your turn.

  3. Sue, major congrats on being a granny sometime soon!

    When I was growing up my grandmother (Nana) lived with us, so we had her full time. I remember she used to tell us all sorts of stories about what she did when she was 'in service' (think downstairs at Downton Abbey!) - and I really wish she'd written them down because I can't remember them all!

  4. Gosh, imagine the stories, Louisa. You could've used some in your writing. I guess you've got lots of memories of your grandmother.

  5. When I was about 8 my sister & I stayed with our Grandparents on the farm for a fortnight. That was probably the best holiday I have ever had. We had the run of the farm - untold freedom to just play. My sister & I shared a great big double bed at night whispering & laughing until we finally fell asleep. Our Grandmother spoiled us, constantly saying "Don't tell your Mother."

  6. Isn't that so exciting to a child - Don't tell your mother? Sounds like an idyllic holiday for a child, Mary.

  7. Hi Sue. Congrats on grandmotherhood. My maternal grandparents most influenced me. They married in 1916 in Rural PA, US of A. I learned many things visiting them over the years traveling by train to visit them. My grandmom baked her own bread and my grandpop raised pidgeons. She canned vegetables and made her own jams and jellies including cherry , grape, and quince. Did I mention the apple, blueberry, and other scrumptious pies?She made her peanut butter eggs dipped in chocolate for Easter.

  8. Congratulations - that's going to be one lucky child! I had my mom's mom until I was in my early 30's, I lost my grandfather a few years before that and I was 20 when I lost my dad's mom but she lived with us so I saw her a lot lol. My dad's dad died when he was 11. My mom's parents had a small rented vegetable farm and all the relatives went there to visit and she had the best sense of humor and great Italian food. I am still not a grandmother at 62 although I have two grown daughters - neither is in that position as yet. My sister just had her 8th and she may be a great grandmother before I have any - I am very jealous lol.

  9. Mikey, your grandparents sound like salt of the earth kind of people. Lucky you. But peanut butter eggs dipped in chocolate? Must be a US of A thing. Must look it up. Could start a new trend here in NZ.

  10. Catslady, I love the sound of that Italian food - one of my favourites. Grandparents obviously giveus wonderful lifelong memories. wonder what I'll give this wee boy to remember years later.
    Isn't it funny how everyone congratulates the grandparents when we had absolutely nothing to do with it!

  11. Sue, grandparenthood sounds so exciting -- many congratulations!

    My granddad used to be a bus driver for a small community, and one of my earliest and favourite memories was being allowed to go on his round with him. I always loved that he never stuck to the allocated route -- he used to drop people right at their front doors. He'd carry the older folks groceries in for them. He knew everyone's routines and if someone wasn't at the bus stop when they should've been he'd wait an extra few minutes for them, or even go knock on their door to make sure they were alright. Of course, as his granddaughter, all those old folk would sneak me lollies. It's a happy memory. :-)

  12. Hi Michelle, what a fabulous memory. I can see you sitting up there accepting the lollies. Think I'm going to be a "lolly" gran.

  13. Mikey2ct can you email me at
    lsmackay @ ts 'dot' co 'dot' nz with your snail mail address so I can send you a copy of Christmas with Dr Delicious.

  14. Mikey2ct - can you email to
    lsmackay @ ts "dot' co 'dot' nz
    your postal address so I can send you a copy of Christmas with Dr Delicious.

  15. Sue
    Good luck on being a granny. I'm not a granny, but I am a great aunt a few times over.
    I grew up sharing my grandparents with lots of cousins and not living close to either side there wasn't a lot of the 1-1 fun that I see a lot of kids now have. My dad was 1 of 10 and my mom 1 of 8 kids. I do remember sitting down with my paternal grandparents when I was 10 and having them give me an oral history of the family. They were both what's considered Germans from Russia and immigrated to the US in the early 1900s... and then grandma's cooking "Schnitz" soup (dried fruit soup), cabbage burgers, homemade sausage & rye bread.
    My maternal grandmother loved the neighborhood kids and kept candy in the soup cooker on her electric stove for all kids. She didn't have much, but loved all kids and had a warm heart. I remember her with no teeth and walking barefoot year round!
    I was fortunate enough to have them all until they were in their 80s. I hadn't really thought of them in a long time. Thanks for giving me the pleasure of their memories.

  16. My parents were 40 and 42 when I was born. My only grandparent died when I was 2, so I have no memories.
    I am, however, very grateful that my own kids have known most of their grandparents and that my mother-in-law still remains at 85 (although she has Alzheimer's and will soon not know her six children - she hasn't known her grandkids and greatgrandkids in ages....).