At this point I know a few grandmas. Not just my mom and stepmom, I have friends who happen to be grandmas too. And it seems to me that grandmalove is a different animal altogether than regular familial love. Some grandmas, the ones I know anyway, love their grandkids the way the sky loves the earth on the horizon where they touch. Like, “Pinggggg!” When they talk about their grandkids, or about seeing their grandkids, their faces get smoother, cheeks get rosier, voices get chirpier, and they smile more. That’s what I see anyway.

To say my mom loves Ax would be like saying Mt. Everest is a mountain, or the Grand Canyon is a crater, or that dark chocolate mousse tastes good. The word love is too small to capture the feeling. And Ax loves her in an otherworldly way.

He loves all his grandparents outrageously and vociferously. They are present in his life like the good guys are present in a dramatic tale. They are the benevolent characters, the unwavering allies, in his unfolding autobiography. It’s like he feels the connection he has with them, without anything specific needing to happen.

When Ax talks about his grandparents, which he does quite a bit, his whole face smiles and he gets animated and bops around. He’s excited to see them on a screen or especially in real life. His relationship with each of them is separate and different from my relationship with them, or Mike’s relationship with his parents. His relationship with them is uncomplicated and lovely and only happy.

And then I remember my grandparents, my grandma Joanie, my grandpa Will, and my mom’s dad grandpa Bill, whose wife died before I knew her, though I’ve heard stories. I got to know each of them, and they knew me. They loved me a lot, I could tell. I remember the feeling of grandmalove and grandpalove and it feels good like a gorgeous song sounds. I’m glad my kid is getting some. I’m gonna enjoy watching it from the parent perspective.