During our weekday morning routine, I was helping my daughter comb her hair, attempting to fight with the mess that the “tangle monster” had left us during the night.
“Never fear. Awesome Mom is here!” I struck a super hero pose, wielding the comb.
“You’re not Awesome Mom. You’re Funny Mom.”
“I am too Awesome Mom.”
“No you’re not.”
“Yes I am. Awesome Mom.”
“No, Funny Mom.”
And so the exchange continued as I went after the mass of tangles. Finally, I asked, “Well if I am not Awesome Mom, who is?”
Without missing a beat, without so much as a pause to even consider her answer, my daughter replied, “Grandma.”
“Why is Grandma awesome?”
“Because she always has treats.”
“Treats?” I wonder with raised eyebrows.
My daughter is actually right about her Grandma. She is lucky to have a really wonderful and close relationship with her grandparents. They take her places and invite her to spend the night. Grandma brings home stray pieces of ceramics for them to paint together. Grandma and Papa give up significant parts of their basement to “houses” constructed of cardboard boxes. They are willing participants in every tea party. Grandma opens her kitchen and allows our daughter to make pizzas, eating as much of the shredded as she spreads on the uncooked dough—without the least reprimand.
Grandma and Papa always have their arms and hearts wide open. For their older grandchildren, they are ready with a willing ear, a cup of coffee and leftovers at the kitchen table. For the youngest there are hugs, kisses, plenty of time to sit and read or paint or play.
So yes, that makes them pretty awesome.
We cannot underestimate the importance the extended family, the roles these other adults play in the lives of young children. They provide a support to build confidence and character that reinforce the day-to-day work of the parents.
So, I don’t mind playing second fiddle to Grandma—Awesome Mom—because Awesome Mom gives me vital backup, allowing me to be a good Mom, and even, a funny one.
© 2014 Michele Arduengo. All rights reserved.