What people often say when you become a grandparent, after they congratulate you for your child having a child, is that it’s wonderful, especially because you can be as much a part of the grandchild’s life as geography, time, and willingness to be involved allow. And then you can go home, leaving the grandchild in his/her parents’ hands (i.e., more fun, less responsibilities, and certainly more sleep than you had with your own child).
That’s mostly correct.
But, if you talk to other grandparents, you’ll learn that there’s something else wonderful too.
Watching your children (son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law) become parents is as rewarding as watching your grandchildren grow, learn, and become human beings. Assuming the best scenarios (you get along with your children, you are welcome in their home, and you feel good about how they’re handling their new roles), I think the pleasure of seeing children you’ve raised become parents is even more satisfying than your being part of the grandchild’s life.
I guess that shouldn’t be so surprising, but no one ever mentioned that part of being a grandparent to me. With the birth of our younger daughter’s first child (Samantha Lauren) 10 days ago, we now have the good fortune to have four grandchildren. We also have the good fortune to be very much a part of their lives. And, most special, we get to watch our children become parents.
Of course, we’ve got to figure out how to observe what happens without interfering or being overly intrusive yet available and helpful when asked. Just as this is new territory for them, so too is it for the grandparents.
barbara chernov said:
I so agree with you on this. I have secretly rejoiced in watching my own children become parents. It is an on-going joy to observe and an on-going challenge to keep my mouth closed!!!!!!!
Richard Miller said:
We had some practice in their adolescence, but this is another challenge.
Richards sister janet said:
Depends on which child
Delabian Rice-Thurston said:
I love grandparenting. Unfortunately, “Little Bit” has realized that often when Grandma shows up it means Mama is leaving and he goes bonkers until he decides to forgive me for not being Mama. Once he does, we have a great time.
I adore that little boy! It is amazing to see the baby I rocked who depended on me now care for his own son. It’s also great to see how Eddie Jr. tries to get around Edward, Sr. with the same intensity that his dad used to get around us.
Your grandchildren are your revenge I’ve heard.
Joy to you all!
Richard Miller said:
My father use to say, “Grandkids and grandparents have the same enemy (the parents).”
So true. I remember being so proud of my son . He was terrific with his son
Liz Frost said:
Love the pictures!!!!! Great to hear about the experiences.
elliott trommald said:
You are a wise and feeling father — and not just because I live your sentiments. Well said. And while you are well behind me in grandfathering (my oldest 25 now), I know you are a quick learner. One offering I made and it stuck: I have never enjoyed the expression “Its all good, Dad.” Often I knew she meant “I have had one hell of a day, and just cannot talk about it now.” We talked. We talked about having many more such days and I suggested in each there is usually a lesson to be gleaned, an experience for better or worse to be remembered. I said, “Why not just say ‘Its all useful” and embrace the joy, the angst, and the indefinable.” She did and still does. That preserved a degree of laughter even in some of the toughest times.