Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Baby Shower - It Will Be Wonderful - Right?

Yesterday I spent some time planning for Fran's baby shower which will be on April 25th at our house. As I said in an earlier post I have invited over 40 people and so I am praying for beautiful New Jersey Spring weather so that some people will gather outside and everyone will be comfortable.

When I planned Fran's bridal shower with her wedding party I kept it a surprise which is a whole other project. But that's the way I thought it was done. Since then I've learned that these events don't have to be a surprise and indeed brides and mothers-to-be are involved in the details of planning for the shower. Now I'm not sure which way is easier. Just getting past invitations was a project. After much shopping - I'm usually the one stop type -we bought some beautiful baby shower paper at the local party store and designed the invitations together. They really did come out quite adorable and my husband helped with getting them ready to mail. Then, by mutual agreement, Fran resigned from baby shower planning.

I hope she will be reading the blog so I can't tell all of the secrets beforehand. There will be a surprise or two. But now besides food - I'm experienced and good at that - I have to learn what will make for a good baby shower. I'm not much into the games thing. But I really enjoyed the decorate onesies project that Fran and I both did at Umang's shower. In fact when her husband came at the end of the shower and chose his favorite, it was Fran's that won. I hope we'll be able to set up this project outside if its a nice day. I really am looking forward to opening lots of cute and necessary baby things.

Does anyone have baby shower activities that you enjoyed and recommend? I'd love to hear your ideas. Please leave your comments.

Almost Grandma Marion

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Complexity of Becoming a Grandmother, A Role Model and Jeremiah and a New Covenant

Yesterday at the College Women's Club annual huge book sale I came across a book I wasn't looking for but I'm glad I found it. Its Becoming a Grandmother: A Life Transition
by Shelia Kitzinger. Shelia is the author of 22 books mostly about pregnancy and motherhood. After she became a grandmother, she did extensive research on this subject and this book is the product of her research and personal experience.

When I was seven months pregnant I panicked one day while at work and realized that I was going to have a baby soon and I had no knowledge of what to do as a parent. I had majored in engineering and my friends who were teachers and nurses were way ahead of me about having a clue what this was all about. After work I went to the book store and bought seven books and began to devour them. I did learn some useful information in the books but mostly they helped relieve some stress just by letting me feel more prepared.

I am definitely more relaxed and confident about becoming a grandparent and of course there is a lot less responsibility so it is easy to feel this way. I have just read the beginning of Shelia's book and can identify with some of the more complex feelings associated with this transition. I like to think of myself as being a "young" Grandma. I have an active career and volunteer leadership roles. But I am 60 - not young to be a grandmother at all. Yet this major life transition does thrust you into a new generation - an elder if you will. My Mom died in 2002 and for all of the complaints of my brother and I, this left a hole in our family life. I feel that to some extent I will begin to fill that hole as I take on this new role. Besides grandmotherly advice I will be baking cookies, babysitting, bringing my grandson on special outings, etc. I look forward to all of these things with anticipatory glee - but it is a different role of a parent with its day to day responsibilities and intimate, unique relationship with a child.

I am glad I picked up Shelia's book because it deals with these issues in a straightforward, non-nonsense, enlightening way. I am determined to be a good grandmother but I will have to figure out what that is for my own unique person. Last year younger friends of ours had their first baby. I marveled at Umang's mother who so patiently attended to her daughter and grand daugther in the hospital. It was as if all three generations were synchronized in harmonious bliss as Umang was still coping with the realities of a newborn. Her mother seamlessly let Umang mother and at the same time was intensely helpful and supportive. My style is so different from Urmilla. Probably if I am honest, a bit too much in your face. Watching Urmilla I saw the attentive, loving, helpful - but not in your face - grandmother I want to be.

This morning at church our pastor gave an excellent Lenten sermon based on Jeremiah 31:31-34 speaking about the new covenant with themes of forgiveness and gratitude. My daughter and I will have to forge a new covenant and I hope it will embody a spirit of forgiveness and gratitude between us.

Here's my plan to prepare to be a grandmother:
1) Use Shelia Kitzinger's book to help sort out my feelings and role of being a grandmother

2) Use the example of Urmilla Dosi as she so lovingly attended to her daughter and granddaugther

3) Reflect on Jeremiah's words to embrace a new covenant with gratitude and forgiveness.

I think that's a good place to start on a Sunday afternoon... Please leave your comments on this post, I'd love to hear from you.

Almost Grandma Marion

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Welcome to the Grandma Chronicles

This is my very first post on this blog. I am not a grandmother yet - just a “expectant” one. My daughter, Fran, and her husband, Josh are expecting their first baby in June. It is so close and yet so far away! I am a nonprofit consultant and have a blog associated with my business. You can visit that blog at http://marionconwaynonprofitconsultant.blogspot.com. I love blogging and reading other nonprofit blogs so much that I decided to blog about the new adventure of becoming a grandmother. First I thought I would visit exisitng grandmother blogs but I didn’t find much. If you are a grandmother who is blogging, please leave a comment - I want to start a blogroll as soon as I have enough other blogs to recommend.

Right now we are getting in high gear with planning. Today Josh and his Dad are putting together the crib and soon the rocking chair we ordered will be pulling up at Fran and Josh's front door. I am planning the baby shower at our home and over 40 invitations are in the mail. Am I crazy?

Check back soon as I plan to update this blog regularly

Almost Grandma Marion