Some grandparents stay busy while others take the time to relax, read some books, and play some golf. Regardless of what they do with their time, they are always willing and ready to hear from their grandkids.
They say that grand-parenting is like a second chance at parenthood, but the fun part is that the disciplining and rule-setting falls outside of their list of major responsibilities! This means that they can be the givers of love, fun, cuddles, jokes, gifts and all the good stuff, without having to be the givers of hidings or groundings. Lucky grandparents!
Children these days spend most of their time at school then play with friends in their free time. All of them love their grandparents, mostly because they know they’re the givers of the cool things mentioned above!
As a grandparent, I want my grandchildren to know that I will be here for them as long as I can be – until my time here on Earth runs out. I feel I have competition, though, when it comes to getting their attention - what with all the devices, X-boxes, PlayStations and other gadgets I can’t pronounce. So, when I do get a call or receive a letter from them, it’s real special to me. I know, then, that I came first in their life for that time, above the demands made on them by their peers or whatever the marketing world wants them to think is cooler than writing a letter to a grand.
I also know that, perhaps, they sometimes think I can’t remember them, or that I am in bed lying down and don’t have the energy to talk with them. Nothing could be further from the truth, which is why - after a while of not hearing from them - I like to pick up the phone and call them myself.
Family gatherings are always great, when the whole family comes together over a day of talking, eating, and sharing stories. These events are always special to me as well. What is also great is when my grandkids bring me something at these events; a toy they made, a picture they drew, a story they wrote. I watch them grow in front of my eyes – one visit they’re so high, and the next visit they’re even higher! Before I know it they’ll be adults with homes and families of their own.
But before they get that high – that big – I really want them to know how much I treasure them. I don’t want their parents (my kids) to force them to call or write. No – that’s no fun for them, and it certainly isn’t special at all. No – I want them to think of me, even if only once a week, on their own terms.
Having said that, the message in my blog this week is don’t force your kids to think of or contact their grandparents. It’s not all that nice hearing, “Hi, Papa, my Mom told me I have to call you to see how you are,” to which I would reply, “Well, why didn’t your Mom call me herself to ask?”
Suggest they call or write, by all means, but don’t force them to.
We grandparents won’t be around forever. Bonding with our grandchildren will always be important. Those who stay long enough to actually see those grandkids grow into young adults are very lucky.
I guess it’s up to us to plant a seed in them and water it as often as possible. The seed of love for grandparents in grandkids can grow into something especially beautiful, but only if we - as the more knowledgeable of the two - nurture it and care for it. After all, we must keep in mind the competition out there!
Bottom-line – make yourself available to your grandkids, and always give them a reason to want to call or write; that reason being that they know you are a source of love and support. Gifts and toys are disposable; don’t rely on them for your affection ticket.
Love them, listen to them, support them, and they’ll give all of that to you, too.
Copyright George Green © 2016 Rancho Mirage, CA, USA