This morning, just before dawn and more than a little sleepy, I experienced one of those moments of sheer joy and anticipation – a kind of tingling somewhere at the back of my being – that I can only remember feeling when I was a child at the beginning of a day on which something especially exciting was happening – a family holiday, my birthday, a long promised trip to a magical destination.
What had prompted this feeling? It was the truly wonderful memory of the sweet snuffling sound of my baby granddaughter Edie as she woke – a little after 5 am – in the Moses basket by my bed. It was the first time since her birth when she was only two months old and I had been privileged to look after her for a whole night allowing her mummy and her daddy a chance (with the help of three bottles of expressed mother’s milk lined up in the fridge) to go out to dinner together and sleep peacefully for a full eight hours.
In the seven ages of woman the one at which you are ready to take on the role of grandmother is the age that seems the least exciting. In a world obsessed with the notion of anti-ageing the very word ‘granny’ is supposed to turn your hair grey and your brain to mush. But in the weeks that have followed the birth of Edie I have decided that– at least for me – becoming a grandmother is one of the most wondrous events of my life. It has rejuvenated me in a way that no lotion, potion or surgical procedure ever could. My granddaughter has given me a new reason to look forward to every new day (even if they do start before dawn).
The American writer Christopher Morley wrote that ‘it is as grandmothers that our mothers come into the fullness of their grace’. How wonderful to have this second chance at mothering and an important, new joyous role in life.
Jane Gordon is a granny of one, mum of three, interviewer of many a celebrity, author of several books and, of course, newspaper columnist. Until recently she co-authored the column 'Mum and Me' with her daughter Bryony in the Sunday Telegraph's magazine Stella. Her new column 'You Are Never Too Old To Learn' starts soon. Her latest book 'How Not To Get Old - One Woman's Quest To Take Control Of The Ageing Process' is published on 7 May this year, by Trapeze. ISBN-10: 1409194752; ISBN-13: 978-1409194750