Grandkids. We play with them then give them back. We don’t have to pay their expenses, discipline them, or wait up when they’re past curfew. Is that the “grand” part of grandparenting? Definitely not.
If we take our roles seriously, we’ll keep the “parenting” part. The biggest difference may be that the heat is off–most of the time. We want many of the same things for our grands as we did for our own children. And given the chance, we’d put just as much into it.
Do you want your grandkids to reach all their infant and toddler developmental milestones? Of course, you do. Do you want them to know their ABCs and be able to tie their shoes before entering kindergarten?
What about their friendships? Certainly, you want them to have wholesome friends.
You want their teachers to be fair and able to teach their particular subject in a way that each child can learn. You want them to be safe, well-fed, looked after medically and to be taught your family’s faith.
We all want them to do their chores, learn to help others, drive a car, get a job, graduate, go to college, and have a promising future.
These are the same things we wanted for our children. So, what’s so grand about repeating the same desires and helping all we can in the same process?
It’s not because we can send them back.
Grand means magnificent, splendid, imposing, and awe-inspiring. Like the Grand Tetons. It also means the largest or most important part. The grand entrance. The grand finale.
Do your grandkids inspire you? Does their presence command your attention?
They certainly command our attention. One more jump on the sofa and someone’s going to get hurt. But what about awe-inspiring attention? When I look at my grandchildren they remind me of what’s good in this world and how I want to keep it that way.
I don’t have the power to take away all their troubles and I wouldn’t want to. They need to grow just as we. However, if I could freeze time so society wouldn’t travel so quickly downhill or could pause just one more moment until they understood the lesson I was trying to impart–I’d do so for my grandkids.
Why? Because they’re grand. In some ways more imposing upon my heart than my own.
And I am grand… very important to the shaping of the majestic future I wish for each one.
Today, do something that only a grand-mother or grand-father could do for their grandchild. And tomorrow, do the same.