Hi all! It’s Monday and the first day of my ‘5 things I’m Thankful For’ project.
So let’s have at it shall we?
I am thankful for knowing my Grandparents.
I am very lucky to have known all four of my biological grandparents, as well as two step-grandparents and a great-grandparent. I have had 6.5 sets of elders looking out for me, Granny & Grandad (Papa Pigeon’s parents), Grandma & Richard (Mam Pigeon’s Mum & Stepdad), Grandad Ted & Carol (Mama Pigeon’s Dad & Stepmum) and Great-Grandad Nick. I’ve been positively spoilt with grandparents.
A lot of time has passed since my arrival in their lives, and as I approach my 25th birthday, I have 3 surviving grandparents and 2 step-grandparents, but I am lucky enough to have had them all there as I grew up influencing the person I am today.
I spent a week every summer at my paternal grandparents house until my parents divorce, and looking back, I can see what they instilled in me as a person and how they have influenced me in how I want to bring up my children.
Grandad had worked as a chef, and he grew or hunted most of the fayre that went on the table, as well as baking a mean fruit cake. He totally toppled all stereotypes for me. And he still does.
His garden, a mixture of flowers, vegetables, fruit & sheds, has stayed with me throughout my life, and urges me to just some sort of an outside space and start growing on it.
As mad as a hatter, and proud of it, Grandad told me throughout my awkward teenage years to stand up straight and be glad of my height…as I wouldn’t need a ladder to change any lightbulbs…
Granny was lovingly strict, ensuring our faces, noses, behind our ears and hands were spotless at all times. She sat through endless and no doubt tediously mindless puppet shows put on by me and my brother in our childhood years, popping the toys above edge of the solid bannister and talking in silly voices. She never told us that she was too busy, even though I suspect she was up to her elbows in something every time we called her through to the hall.
My Granny, who is no longer with us, was also the one to tell me of my sleep-talking and walking. I’m reminded of the first time she realised I was more than just my father’s daughter in looks. I’d inherited his night-time mutterings. I had screamed for her one night, and responding to her granddaughter’s shrieks, assuming I was being murdered in my bed, she had run up the stairs, two at a time. She rushed in on me sat bolt up right in bed, eyes wide open. ‘What’s the matter?’ She had asked me.
Apparently I just looked at her, shrugged and said ‘Nothing.’
She told me to go back to sleep, and with a singsong ‘Okay’, I turned over and was fully back asleep before she could blink. Only a woman of fortitude could have gone back downstairs, turned the news back on and said ‘She’s like her Dad’ without batting an eyelid. I someday hope to be as unfazed.
Mama Pigeon’s parents have always been supportive and full of love, despite the fact their eldest grandchild wanted to be an all singing, all dancing member of the theatrical community. Not the most stable of careers, but they let me find that out by myself, without any pushing or prodding. For that I’m eternally grateful.
Grandad Ted and Carol have always encouraged my creative side. Carol was once as sewing teacher, and I owe my love of sewing and sewing machines to her. (And also the choice of my current machine!)
I love all my grandparents, but my maternal grandmother, my Grandma, is who I have grown up closest to.
She had a similar relationship with her grandmother, a closeness that is unbreakable. And as a child, a teenager and as a young woman, I have loved and do love to hear everything that she has to say about her childhood, her life and her hope for the future.
She has taught me so much from table manners (I know how to eat with all the posh cutlery you know!), to the importance of self-esteem and loving yourself, to how another cup of tea is always a good idea. (And it is…)
She has spoilt me with love, been a rock for me to lean on, and a soggy shoulder for me to spend my tears on. She is the person I want to be proud of me no matter what I set out to do.
She is an utterly fabulous woman, who always knows how to sort out my flaps and tantrums. I actually am a little dumbstruck for words on how to describe how actually amazing she is.
My Grandparents have taught me things that my parents couldn’t have, as they didn’t know they knew them themselves. I want my children to know their grandparents, so they can experience the wonder that they are.