On the Grandstand

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On the Grandstand

As we enter this season of holidays and thanksgiving, this year I find many of my most thankful moments have been for grandparents. Since becoming one last year, I have been thinking a lot about the roles mine played in my life. I have also been watching, listening, and learning from others.

Because of the auto accident I was in almost 20 years ago, I have some physical limitations that are part of my life. As we raised our own children, we adapted, but I found I kept comparing myself to my grandson’s other grandmother because she is able to do some things I am not. FACT: I adore his other grandmother. She is my childhood friend and a precious person, but I kept thinking, “Would my grandchildren love me as much because I can’t do as much?”

One person’s observation of grandparents really resonated with me…and it made me realize the truth of what was said. She said, “I remember as a child that I just loved my grandparents because they were my grandparents. I respected them because of their place in our family. They didn’t attend everything I did, they didn’t buy me expensive gifts. They just loved me and I loved them because of who they were.”

I thought back to my own grandparents and realized the same thing was true. I spent the most time with my mother’s parents and a lot of that was sitting beside them in church or with our entire family at their home for dinner after church. As I grew older, I would stay with them and always felt like the most special thing in the world when I did. My paternal grandparents lived in another city most of my childhood, and although I didn’t know them as well, I remember loving them deeply…because of who they were in our family, not because of what they did for me.

Over the years there seems to have been a culture shift that has turned being a grandparent into a competition of how much one can do, buy, or experience to prove how special the child is to them. Parents, I encourage you to pause. I encourage you to think about how much you love your child and remember, the way you feel about them is the way we felt about you. I encourage you to remind your children of the love and honor due their grandparents…not because of what they do or buy or how many events they attend…but because they survived raising YOU! Teach them the values of respect and honor because of who someone is, not because of what they do for you.

Enjoy this time. I promise you, it is fleeting and one day you will blink and you’ll be a grandparent too. And like me, you’ll be very, very thankful.

Until next time,