Pearl Girls™ Mother of Pearl Mother’s Day blog series | Day Seven

Welcome to Pearl Girls Mother of
Mother’s Day blog serie
s. The series is week long celebration of moms
and mothering. Each day will feature a new post by some of today’s best writer’s (Tricia
Goyer, Megan Alexander, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Beth Engelman, Holley Gerth,
Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, and more). I hope you’ll join us each day for another unique
perspective on Mother’s Day.

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Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace
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And to all you MOMS out there! Happy Mother’s Day!

What is a Grandmother? by
Suzanne Woods Fisher

“A grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend.”
Amish proverb

I arrived late in the night in Rhode Island, anxious to meet my two-day-old grandson,
Blake, after a full day of flying. My daughter and son-in-law had just returned
home from the hospital and felt like they had been in a train wreck. There was stuff
everywhere.  Already, the needs of this little eight-pound bundle of joy were
enormous: an all-terrain stroller, plenty of diapers, onesies, spit-up rags, an assortment of
pacifiers to try out until he found the ideal one.

And he was perfect.

I know, I know. “Every mother crow thinks her own little crow is the blackest.” But this
little dark eyed, dark haired boy really was perfect.

I spent the next seven days (and nights) getting to know this little guy. His schedule (he
had none), his hunger cries (very similar to his every other cry). His pirate look–one eye
open, one eye squeezed shut, as if he was still surprised by all that had taken place to him
in a week’s time.

I felt surprised, too. How could my baby possibly have had a baby? How could I be
a grandmother? I had just turned fifty-one. Shockingly young! How could a kid like
me give up playing tennis three times a week to settle into knitting and crocheting and
Friday night bingo? And shouldn’t I alter my appearance to fit this new label? Give up
my jeans? Switch over to below knee-length calico dresses, thick black socks, practical
shoes, gray hair pinned in a topknot. Think…Aunt Bee on Mayberry R.F.D.

As soon as people knew my daughter was expecting, I was bombarded with advice from
my well meaning friends—even those who weren’t yet grandparents. “The best way to
avoid getting on the nerves of your daughter and son-in-law is to not say anything. Ever.”
Or “You’d better pick your nickname or you’ll be stuck with something hideous, like
MooMoo Cow.”

What should I be called? Granny? No…reminded me of The Beverly Hillbillies.
Grandma? No…sounded like The Waltons. Grammy? No…it was already taken by the


But no one really explained what it meant to be a grandmother. I didn’t know myself,
not until I held baby Blake in my arms. In that moment, I realized that he was one of
mine. He belongs to me. He will be on my mind and in my prayers, every day, for the
rest of my life. There’s a bond between us that can’t be broken. He has altered my life

I had become a grandmother.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The Choice, The Waiting, and
The Search, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace.
Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, W.
D. Benedict, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in
Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Benedict eventually became publisher of Christianity
Today magazine. Suzanne is the host of a radio show called Amish Wisdom and
her work has appeared in many magazines. She lives in California.