Be A Good Grandparent

There’s so much of the world I don’t understand. A lot of it I don’t want to understand. A lot more than I should understand but I don’t.

I started this blog earlier, but it got so preachy and moralistic I couldn’t tell who really wrote it. So I wanted to try one more time.

I went to a Grandparents Day at my grandson’s school last Friday. It was a blast — there were soooo many grandparents there! We all were great moral support for the K through 5 group. Being on two different ends of the age spectrum, I couldn’t help but be invigorated by the enthusiasm and innocence and goofiness of those 50 years younger.

And I wondered.

Where does all this innocence and enthusiasm go?

We all are inundated with the madness of the world: politics, gangs, superstars, billionaires, mass murderers. The list goes on.

And I wondered.

Were these people ever innocent? Were they ever caring, giving, loving?

When did they take the wrong turn in the road?

I look at my own sons. They are different from each other yet they are the same. One is a controller, one works for a restaurant. One is single, one is married. They both have pasts I’m not 100% ready to know (as -I- have one they don’t want to know).  But they made it through high school and college, not much worse for the wear, and we still communicate.

I look at my grandsons. Will they buckle under the pressure? There are a lot of mean kids out there. All sizes, colors, ages and classes. It doesn’t take much to be mean; you can be merely spoiled or off center or just picked on yourself. Everyone goes through the ups and downs of puberty, but some get turned around so much that they never come out the same.

Women have unrealistic expectations thrust at them when it comes to looks and families and men are pressured by salaries and careers and showing up for their kid’s baseball games. We don’t make the rules — we just hear them from other people. We all are pressured to be more, do more, make more, live more.

What happens when more is not enough?

I looked at the innocence of the kids at school and envied them for the moment. For their moment would soon change. It has to change in order to deal with the madness grownups have created.

There are rewards to being older, of course. We know our way through the world, more-or-less know what we want from life, and eventually realize that it doesn’t matter what the rest of the world thinks. Some of us get there at 30…some at 60. Some never get there, always worried about what others will think or say.

I hope my grandkids are spared most of that mind chatter. I hope all of the grandkids on Grandparents Day are raised in a stronger, more accepting world. Help when you can, don’t make bad choices, forgive and move on.

I never had a Grandparents Day — I never knew my grandparents, period.

I wonder if that would have made all the difference in the world. It did with my husband. His grandparents were heroes in his eyes. And no doubt they adored him back.

I hope I have the same effect on my grandkids.

 

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12 thoughts on “Be A Good Grandparent

  1. As a very new grandparent (7 months) I read this post with much interest. We are “long-distance” grandparents, so I know we will have to miss out on many events in the years to come, so I appreciate and am delighted to hear you were able to attend and enjoyed your visit to Grandparent’s Day! 🙂 I have had many of the same thoughts as you expressed here when thinking about how children lose their sense of joy and unconditional acceptance / love, and how people make wrong turns as adults. Our world is a complicated place, your thoughts ring true on what is most important. 😉

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    1. I know I am blessed to be able to see my grandkids as often as I do. But I also know it’s not how often you see them but what you share with them that counts. Once your grandbaby gets older, when you DO see him/her, do the crazy things only a grandparent can do. Dance in the rain, splash in puddles, play talking animals with them. Draw tattoos on both of your arms with washable markers. Do the things your kids don’t do…be the crazy, loving grandma you were born to be. That’s what your grandkids will remember, and those are the values they will hold close.

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  2. We have a responsibility to be a positive influence in our grandchildren lives.What a privilege that is. A wonderful post. I am sure your grandchildren adore you.

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  3. I shared this with my best friend today, my husband off 55+ years. We both could relate 💯% to so many of the truisms contained here. “We don’t make the rules; we just hear them from other people,” and “Help when you can, don’t make bad choices, forgive and move on,” were two of the most poignant. We are about to become great-grandparents any minute. The desire to make a positive difference in our grandchildren’s lives is so front and center. You’ve given us lots of food for thought. Thank you! Your blog was the emotional dessert for our physical meal. Bob appetite!

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    1. Not “off” but “of.” Darn spellchecker! And that “Bob appetite” is a perfect play on words. Bob has an appetite – that’s my hubby! But we wish you “Bon appetit!”

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    2. You have made my day, my friend. When I hear the nonsense about the president every day and crazy people doing crazy things I fear for my grandkids’ sanity. But I really believe if their parents live the straight life and their grandparents do the same, it can’t help but rub off on the next generation. And as for you being great grandparents — how absolutely fantastic! Oh to live long enough to be a granny to my 7 year old grandbaby! I’m working on it, that’s for sure!!

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