The Love of a Grandparent ~

DISCLAIMER: In no way is this derogatory against Jenny and Brandon. They are doing a beautiful job raising two of our grandbabies. I see them taking more time with their children than I felt I did with her; I see them spending more family time, more one on one time, and more trips to the Zoo and playgrounds than we did with ours. This was simply what I have observed watching other interactions, as well as my memories of being a young parent. The times mentioned were those that were sticky points when I was raising Jenny and now, as a grandparent, I realize how Jenny's grandparents felt~

I read a blog tonight on stories of grandparents with their grandchildren. We have spent much time the last three days with Jenny, Brandon and their sons so I was interested in reading some of the comments left on this particular post. Ouch. I left wondering what Jenny and Brandon would say about me. I do know that the only time I seem to disagree with something they have done is when it mirrored my own action raising Jenny. Actions that may have been a bit restrictive or tough. Such as,

*cleaning your plate should not be important when there are toys to play with and places to explore, after all, being at the grandparents is like being on a mini-vacation~
*it's okay to have every booboo kissed, backs scratched, and each tear dried, it's God's gift for all the times we failed to do it for you~
*not getting upset with the child if they cry as they leave us. They aren't the only ones with wet eyes as you drive away. Besides, it makes us feel truly and supremely loved, especially when we remember feeling not so loved when our kids always wanted to go to their grandparents. You'll get to feel supremely loved when you have your grandbabies~
*don't read so much into our words, actions, and looks. You really are doing a great job, just ask my friends. They hear all the time what awesome grandchildren we have. And to be that, they have to have great parents~
*oh, and those times you look at each other and roll your eyes? Yeah, we see them. And we recall passing those same looks when we were your age. Now we wish we hadn't~don't guess kids ever get out of the stage of rolling their eyes. And I thought I beat that out of you (smile)
*I don't care how hard you try, you'll never have as much time, be as relaxed, or have the patience of a grandparent. We've been where you are now and it's tough. We don't have the demands on our lives, nor the expenses, nor the stress of being young parents. Sadly, we are to the point of needing to feel important and are happily available to make your life a bit easier, while garnering all the snuggling time we can with someone that thinks we are the next best thing to a pacifier.

It's a curious and age-old dance between parents and grandparents. There were numerous visits with grandparents when Jenny was younger and countless hours spent with Mammie, Memaw, and Nannie. Each woman had a different style, each special in her own way, each one loved and spoiled her. I like to think I have the best of all three women living and breathing within my heart and this is what spills over each and every time I am with Jenny's babies. I've said this before, but I would act a complete fool just to hear one of them laugh at me, with me, for me. It briefly takes me back to when I heard their mother's voice ringing through our home. And I rue the day that I no longer have one of them to rock to sleep, for it's during those times I can make believe I'm rocking her.

I don't mean to spoil my grandbabies. Or maybe I do, for I watched them spoil her and I saw how delighted she was, and I remember feeling the same with my grandmothers. Now I do not want to cater to the point that they are horrid little monsters, but yes, there are times that as a parent I wish I'd been less strict and found more moments of laughter and hugs.

There's a saying that grandchildren are God's reward for not killing your children. That one doesn't mean a thing to me as Jenny was such an easy child to parent. However, there's also the saying once an adult, twice a child. Is that it?! By the time we become grandparents, we're moving into the stage of aged childhood? No wonder we get along so famously with them and create such angst with the parents. Whatever it is, I know it's one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed. To watch my baby love, teach, and guide her babies into and through life. And to know I can be there to love and show them a grandmother's love.

UPDATE ~ Ah, Jess. Okay, so you've made me cry now with your post. Thank you for taking it from a parents' view, which is one of the, if not THE, hardest jobs in the world.


Jess said...

This made me cry :)

Stacia said...

Oh Ms. Nancy...what a special post! Of course I'm in the 'parent' stage right now, but reading about your view helps me see it through my mom's eyes better. And it never hurts to be reminded to relax a little more rather than repremand =)

Vern ~ Inspired said...

I was so moved by your words.
So beautifully written!

It also goes with the Celebrations I am having througout the this month on my blog! Celebrating, Honoring and Encouraging the special women in our lives!

Great blog!

~ from The Letter Writer ~

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