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10 Things I Love About Being a Grandma

An adoring grandmother describes how her life has been changed by two fabulous little girls

7. I know what's important. I don't really care whether my grandchildren get into the Harvard of preschools — or the Harvard of Harvard, for that matter. Yes, I value education, but more than anything, I want the girls to be happy, healthy and live productive, richly satisfying lives. The addition of the prefix "grand" to "parenthood" means fewer expectations and agendas — as well the tensions that often go along with all those expectations and agendas.

8. They give me a free pass. The lack of baggage, as well as judgment, goes both ways. As soon as I became a grandma, it was as if I'd turned into a character in some kind of wacky operetta — I couldn't stop singing. And unlike other members of my family, the girls love it when I warble to them, usually off-key. Grandmotherhood offers me a free pass to act like an imbecile — a great relief from the grownup, professional world in which I must frequently appear serious and all business.

9. I can share the pleasure. My husband and co-grandparent — aka "G-Daddy"—adores the girls and we take great pleasure in spending time together with them in real life and on Skype. Our experience is especially sweet, since G-Daddy and I never had children of our own, and he didn't enter the scene until my son was 10.

10. It's the purest love. Shortly after I became Nonna, my friend, the author and psychologist Mary Pipher, told me that the affection she shares with her grandchildren has taught her about "pure and nearly perfect love." For all the reasons described here — and others that keep emerging the longer I see the world through a grandmother's eyes — I second that emotion.

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National and state fact sheets listing services, programs,  benefits, laws and policies for grandparents raising children. Read

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