Ode to GrandparentsApril 30, 2016
We don’t live near our parents so our kids don’t get to see their grandparents much. I often get jealous, even though I know I shouldn’t, when I hear friends mentioning that their parent or in-law is watching their kids. “They don’t know how easy they have it” I often think. They don’t know what it’s like to not have anyone ever watch their kids. It’s all on us, we don’t have anyone to help us.
Last weekend we had a grandparent visit. It was my father and step-monster visiting. In the early days when I still had young kids clinging to me day and night I often took those visits as a small chance to escape, even if it was only to mow the lawn. It was a chance to do my thing, to feel normal again, free to do something other than hold a baby.
This time the kids are older and I didn’t feel the need to run away. I enjoyed sitting back and watching. I was reminded quite clearly that grandparents are not babysitters they are people who love your children.
While iPads and toddlers are generally frowned upon we have used the technology as a tool to keep our kids connected with their distant family. Long before our kids were old enough to carry on a phone conversation they have been facetiming their grandparents regularly. When the grandparents come to visit last weekend it had been 8 months since the last visit. There was no period of shyness, our kids ran right to them with open arms.
Last weekend I enjoyed watching my kids play with their grandparents. They were full of joy and excitement. I loved that my three year old daughter was put to bed two nights in a row by someone other than myself at her request. I loved how my two year old son brought them books in bed in the morning like we used to do with our grandparents. I loved how they were so eager to share their whole world with their grandparents.
I understood that the connection was based entirely on knowing that their grandparents loved them. Love with a toddler & preschooler is so free. You can tell them a hundred times a day you love them and it isn’t too much. They don’t question love as adults sometimes do. They don’t wonder why people they barely know love them, they believe it and they thrive in it.
Grandparents, from us parents, thank you for loving our children, it means everything.