What it means to be a grandparent.

While I can’t speak for everyone, to me being a grandparent is having the opportunity to love and nurture in a whole new way.

That’s it in a nutshell. At least for me.

With my three grandbabies I feel as if I have a new beginning to get things right. Like a giant do-over.

It’s so easy to look back over my own mothering and see mistake after mistake…things I can no longer correct. And I remember how much stress my husband and I felt in learning how to raise children, in providing for those children, in wanting to do it well, and in the best way possible.

I don’t envy my children because as with most generations, I think they may have a more difficult time than when we were in their shoes. More pressure, more stress at work, more expectations, more worries about the economy, more fear for the future.

But as a grandma I can come in and offer love based on experience and perspective. Is it a better love than what my children provide? Of course not, but it’s a different love.

At times it will be more relaxed because my longevity shows things have a way of working out so no need to stress about the day-to-day stuff.

At times it will be more vibrant and fun because I now actually have the time to be fun, throw caution to the wind, and just be silly with my little ones. (Why not have ice cream instead of a sandwich for lunch!)

At times it may even be more tender. Because I know how fast life goes by and I want to relish every moment spent with my precious loved ones cuddling, giving butterfly kisses, counting toes.

And at times my love for my grandchildren may actually feel more amazing than when I was a young mom simply because I know from experience how much they will change, how much they will learn, how much they will discover in the years to come. And the word ‘amazing’ doesn’t even begin to cover it!

As a grandma, I don’t even know how to adequately write about the love I have for my little ones. They mean so much to me that words fail. Others have shared this dilemma, as did Frederick H. Lehman, the writer of the hymn “The Love of God.” Check out verse 3 where the writer tries to describe the very indescribable love of God. Yes, the language is a bit old-fashioned—after all, it was written in 1917—but if you take your time and read carefully through the words, their message will fill you with joy and hope. (And while I know these words talk about the love of God, they also describe the depth of feeling I have toward my grandkids, a love so deep, I can’t find the words to express it.)

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

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6 thoughts on “What it means to be a grandparent.

  1. Oh Cindi I love reading your thoughts as they speak of my heart with Evan also. I am so blessed to have a DIL who understands and lets me spoil him a bit. I have learned to take my que from her as to when its ok and when I need to back off. I so love that child and when he comes to the door and looks at me and shows me his toes and hides them because he knows I’m going to tickle them……..my heart leaps. He knows he is loved and we have our own little games we play.
    How quickly these days will pass and he will be off to school and other friends and interests, but for now I will cherish our little games and that warm little boy curled up in my lap who thinks I am pretty cool!!

  2. I’ve never really thought of the blessing of having grandchildren as a “do-over,” but I have heard other grandparents voice that thought. I do think I have a keener awareness of the brevity of their childhoods, especially since I now have three teenage grandchildren, along with four who are still in elementary school!

  3. To Mimi From Mimi!
    The short amount of time in each stage of childhood is staggering to me as a grandmother. Yesterday my little three year old grandson told me that soon he would go to school all day long and he was so excited. I was happy for him, but vowed to enjoy his shorter, three mornings only, preschool experience that much more. He is dreaming of being a big boy and I am enjoying today.

    Being a grandmother and a mother are/were the best things for me and I like reading other grandmother blogs who feel like I do!

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