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Being a Grandmother on Mother’s Day

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Y’all, I know I’ve said it before, but there is no bigger blessing in my life than being a grandmother to eleven beautiful children.

When I became a grandmother and held Jack in my arms for the first time—I can’t even begin to describe how good it felt. It’s a love greater than I could have imagined. I still remember Jamie & Brooke sharing their big news with me. The whole family was gathered around the table on New Year’s Day, full of food and tired from cooking, when they made the announcement. It probably won’t come as any surprise that I flew out of my chair like I was on fire and grabbed the two of them and danced with joy. Truly, I thought I’d be 90 before I had my first grandbaby and, even then, wondered if I’d ever have any more. Never in my wildest dreams did I guess I’d have eleven just sixteen years later!

I think my favorite thing about being their Guinny is that I can just love, love, love them and then head home afterwards. I get to give them unconditional love without having to be the disciplinarian—my relationship with each of them is built on giant heaps of love. Whether I’m just eating ice cream with and watching every miraculous movement of my little babies or crabbing, playing games, or heading to the amusement park with my bigger boys, we just always have fun with each other. You know, had I known having grandchildren was so good, I’d have had them first! But as each baby grows into an amazing young person, it’s wonderful to see how our relationships evolve. Each one of our relationships is different and special in its own way.

Though no matter how our relationships differ, a few things are consistent throughout, and those are the lessons I’m tryin’ my best to impart on them. Of course, I try to teach them about getting in the kitchen and cooking, but the most important lessons are those I pass on outside of the kitchen. I try to teach them about forgiveness, to laugh daily, and to never take themselves too seriously. And above all, I try to teach them to never be ashamed of their ability to show love. Kindness, compassion, and love are what makes life so worthwhile, after all.

Speaking of showing love, it’s funny how things change as we get older, including how we celebrate Mother’s Day. When I was a young mom, I felt fortunate if I got some pretty flowers or if I was treated to a nice lunch, but now, even though I’m of course still a mama myself, I prefer to make the day all about the young moms and my Aunt Peggy. I’d rather do the cooking and hosting and spend my time showering the other wonderful mothers in my family with love than have any fuss made over me, and I’m sure I’m not the only grandma who feels this way. The way I see it, I had my fair share of Mother’s Days, and now I’m ready to let the women doing all the heavy lifting have theirs.

No matter how you’re spending the day this year, I’m wishin’ a very Happy Mother’s Day to all you mamas and grandmamas out there!

Xoxo

Paula

Paula Deen - As a young girl growing up in Albany, Georgia, Paula Deen never dreamed she would become an American icon. As a young mother, Paula was living the American dream — married to her high school sweetheart and raising two adorable boys — when tragedy struck. Her parents died, her marriage failed and she began a prolonged battle with agoraphobia. With her boys in their teens and her family near homelessness, Paula took her last $200, reached deep inside her soul and started The Bag Lady, a home-based catering company that marked the start of Deen's professional cooking career. With sons Jamie and Bobby delivering lunch-and-love-in-a-bag, beginning in June 1989, Paula turned her life around by sharing what she knew best, traditional Southern cooking.

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