Today is Grandparent day….The word grandparent conjures up the image of a little old lady (I use this phrase in jest about myself, the most common response from friends and family is a snort of laughter). OK back to business… a little old lady sort a Miss Marple type…all sugar and spice and softness.
I don’t know about you but mine were not like that. My paternal Grandmother was in fact a little old lady 5 foot nothing and like a matchstick with the wood scraped of it. She and Grandfather lived on a farm…not my scene nor my Mum’s and I had little to do with them.
My maternal Grandmother was tall, slim, erect, strict and straight as a dye. No way was ‘spoiling’ on the agenda. She was however loving, kind and I thought the sun shone out of her as a child. There was no shortening of the word Grandmother, I would never have asked her anything personal and the only time I saw her not fully dressed was when she was going to bed or when she first got up.
My amazing Grandmother…
I now reflect and wonder if they had insecurities, if they too saw a changing world, if they too lacked confidence in life? My grandparents seemed to have it all together, be so sure of who they were and what role they played.
Fast forward 50 years to my Grandchildren. I first became a Grandma at the age of 35 as I had married a man with 4 children aged 10-16 and I was 24…so they arrived sort of by default. I now have Grandchildren aged 3 to 33. They all know they can ask me anything, I am down on the floor with them (not the 33 year olds of course)…it is such a generational and societal change.
I love the openness, the warmth I have with them especially the adult girls. Maybe it is my age but I have been reflecting recently on the youngest Miss 3 and Miss 7 and what a different world they are growing up in.
And the role of Grandparents has changed with society many families have both partners working and there are many stresses around that were not there 20, 30 or 40 years ago. With the high relationship breakdown to day I think a grandparent can provide stability and a sense of continuity in today’s fast paced world regardless of the relationship status.
My beautiful granddaughters…
Many Grandparents are taking full time care of their grandchildren for a variety of reasons. Others are part time and then the once in awhile Grandma’s.
Whatever your role as a grandparent I feel you have an incredible opportunity to:
- Be a role model for your grandchildren.
- Be a go to person that the children trust
- To support your children as they raise their children your grandchildren
- Create a bond that lasts a lifetime
- Spoil them a little.
I leave you with 2 questions to ponder:
- What are your special memories of your Grandparents?
- What memories are you creating that your grandchildren will remember you by?
I would love to ear your stories…cheers Di