Now, my children have produced many grandchildren for me. No “grandmotherly” love oozed from my heart when I first saw my first grandchild.
What I DID feel was huge compassion for my own child, the understanding of the formidable responsibility we incur by having children, the pain, the struggle, the worry and some joy that comes when we replicate ourselves. I recalled MY years with small children as being filled with one exhausted moment after another, when peace of mind becomes a mythical state. I think my mother, Gor, felt all these same emotions for me.
I babysit grandchildren for the love of my own children – to give them a break, as probably my mother had done before me. I feel like Mr Furlong’s mother who said to me once whilst watching her own grandchildren “Thank goodness I don’t have children anymore!”
When we came to England, my South African grandchildren “lost” me and I them. I never had to look after them as my grandmother was forced to look after me. I hope that when they are adults they will come to find me again and I am looking forward to getting to know them should that happen.
As I said before, I LIKE all my grandchildren. They are turning out tops – but not because of me.