“We’ll call ourselves the Mande Mawmaws!” Wow….that started out as a joke because we thought we were really too old to be part of any kind of marching group, especially one full of women young enough to be our daughters.

While at a planning meeting for a Mandeville High School Reunion (the number is best kept secret), we learned the new Mande Milkshakers group was still recruiting ladies so that they could march in a couple of local parades. Some quick phone calls and a couple of key strokes on the computer to order costumes and three weeks later we were marching down the streets as Mande Milkshakers.

So what does it mean to be a Mande Mawmaw?

Well, it means we sometimes must work a little harder at things. We watched our younger counter parts memorize and do the fancy moves and footsteps in awe. We would raise our arms and under our breath say “OUCH” that joint hurts. But, here is the funny thing, soon we realized the joints didn’t hurt as bad, the moves came easier, and remembering the sequences of the moves became second nature.

Others began to notice too. The health benefits of the movement and exercise began to show. Smiles returned to our faces, fun returned to our lives, and joy became part of living life to its fullest…..or as our fearless leader would probably tell us, living life a “Little Extra!”

When we added new ladies for our second season, our Mande Mawmaw numbers grew too. A new Mande Mawmaw recently joined our ranks when she announced the birth of her first grandchild. We now have nine members who carry the title of Grandmother.

As I shimmy and shake down the parade route, I am reminded that age is just a number, and it is OK to redefine what grandmother-hood is all about.

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