Last Friday, I played the part of a grandparent for my 9-year-old daughter. It was Grandparents Day at her school. A special program took place in the gym. I sat right up front, which I typically don’t do when I attend an event in my real role of mother, but grandparents want to get up as close as they can to their grandchildren so they can be close to them, and the grandchildren don’t mind it. That is not the same for parents. (We parents want to be up close, but we know better).
Each grandparent hones in on his or her grandchild. It is like they have monovision. No one else matters but their grandchild, and this is how it should be.
Grandpa waves. Grandchild waves back. Grandma waves. Grandchild waves back. They share more waves and smiles. I even saw one grandma blowing a kiss, and the target grandchild caught the kiss. There is a definite radar.
After the waves, smiles, and other signs of affection are shared, the cameras come out. Grandparents can never get enough pictures of their little lovebugs. After the grandchild’s performance, no one claps louder than grandma and grandpa.
I really enjoy sitting among all of the grandparents observing the special acts of love and affection shared between each child and grandparent. There is nothing else like this relationship.
Grandmas and grandpas are very biased. Their grandchild is the best singer, dancer, player, performer, child to them. And isn’t that fantastic? Grandparents love their grandchild “as is.” True, unconditional love.
Patience grandparents have, and make the time for their grandchildren. They will wait patiently for them to tie their shoe, or to hear a story about what happened on their field trip.
Parents many times act like they are listening, but we are thinking about what we are making for dinner, the number of loads of laundry that need to be done, and who is going to pick up our other child from practice, and in the meantime, we have not really “heard” anything of what our child has so heartily shared with us.
Our undivided attention is very divided. Grandparents are in the here-and-now with their grandchildren.
Not only do grandparents listen; they share life stories and traditions. They serve as the link between the past and present. Our children will take these stories, bits of wisdom, history, and values into their future.
Each year I attend Grandparents Day, I sit in awe and wonder at the special love and relationship that is shared. It is so abundant. I always go away feeling that each and every one of “our” children should share this type of relationship with a grandparent. There is no other like it to feel that you are the most loved and the very best in someone’s eyes, is immeasurable for a child’s core being.
I personally appreciate all of the grandparents or “sit in” grandparents. You make a difference.