Thursday, January 13, 2011

Value of grandparents

I so enjoy having grandchildren close by. The incredible bond that happens with almost daily contact is a gift for both parties - grandma and grandchild. When children are older that bond will not only keep them close but will result in the child having someone else who is important in his/her life and who can be depended upon to be there, support, love unconditionally and encourage them even when life is hard.

I can't tell you how great it was to have a grandmother that felt that way about me - who was there even during my emotional "tweens" when I cried easily and had pity parties, unlike my happy-going why-aren't-you-more-like-her sister. Later she was there for me when I had children and financial struggles. Her care packages sustained us at times. She not only sewed for me but for my kids and she encouraged me in this skill which was a life saver in my life.

There is a rerun episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond" where they do a flashback showing how they came to live across the street from his parents (a decision they later questioned but that did result in a close relationship and someone always there to rely on for impromptu babysitting, extra kisses and hugs). Debra, in trying to talk Raymond into it says, "Let's give our kids grandma and grandpa." As you get to know her character, you learn that Debra's mother was a "hands-off" non-nurturing mom. She loved her but she didn't fill the grandma need and was only there on occasional visits. By being close to the grandparents, even when it was difficult for Debra, she was able to give an amazing gift to her children. And even though this show is fictional, exaggerated comedy it is a very true principle. Debra is willing to sacrifice her own comfort for the children to have the extended, loving family right there for them. They are there for the children's school programs, recitals, church, trips to the park, etc. Of course they also have two loving parents but it takes a village to raise a child and nothing else fills this gap that sometimes happens when parents are so busy with their lives and can't meet their child's every need. How great to have other people who love them more than life itself and would sacrifice anything for them!


  1. I completely agree! I was blessed to be around my grandparents, as well as great-grandparents, while I grew up. This is a bond that I am SO grateful for!

    Some of my first memories are of me and my grandma experimenting in the kitchen. We would take a pot of water and add spices to it. They were fabulous dishes to me and encouraged me to use my imagination.

    During the winter my great-grandpa would play out in the snow with us while my great-grandma watched. We played Fox & Geese and laugh as he would chase us around the circle. Even though we can't do this anymore (they are 98 and 95 now), we still talk about all of our memories of the things we did when I was growing up.

    I can't imagine what it would be like to not have these relationships, and am very thankful to my parents who gave me the opportunity to grow up with them around.

  2. I couldn't agree more! I am so grateful that both Rob and my parents live nearby so our kids can be loved and nurtured and taught by them and so that my kids can bring joy to our parents (and maybe help them heal) in a way that only children can.


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