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.