Yesterday I saw a post on the Starts at 60 Facebook page about someone not seeing their grandchildren enough. At first I felt sadness for them and my heart felt their pain. But then I had a moment and realised that it shouldn’t matter how often we see them. The moments we share together when we do see them are what should matter most to us.
I’m a grandparent and I adore my grandkids. We live in different states however I am lucky enough to see them a few times a year. Now I can agree with anyone who says there’s no such thing as enough love from a grandchild – it truly is better than anything! But I have learnt not to dwell on the fact that both of my children moved away with their families and instead, I make sure that the times we share together really count.
I have friends who live in the same suburbs as their grandchildren and over time they’ve shared that even though they still have just as much love for them as there always was, the relationship has changed and it’s not as exciting anymore. I’m blessed that each time I catch up with my grandkids it’s a time of love, laughter, happiness and kisses. I don’t get to babysit them often at all; I don’t have a regular authoritative role in their life and I don’t get to participate in their everyday lives.
In some ways I believe I am missing out and I get jealous of my friends. I wish I could see my grandkids every day, pick them up from school on the odd occasion and watch them at their sporting carnivals, but unfortunately I can’t. Perhaps when I retire I could move, but while I’m still working it’s not an option.
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Even though I miss out on these things I am sometimes glad for it. I’m glad that they don’t see me as an extension of their parents. I’m glad that they still ring me to talk each week. I’m glad that they’re growing up having happy memories of holidays with Grandma instead of dull memories of the “other” person who reminded them to do the chores or homework.
Everyone has their own story and most people will probably oppose my thoughts, which is fine! But I hope that people can stop thinking about quantity and instead think about quality.
A relationship with our grandkids should be just that, quality over quantity. We should focus on our roles of being there, providing love and support for them and building happy memories with them no matter what ages we all are.
I can understand the heartbreak that so many of us go through at not being able to see our grandkids regularly. Especially for those people who’s families have been torn apart and not by geography or impracticality but by cruelness don’t get to share the joy of grandparenting. I just hope we can all remember to treasure the moments we do have to share together.
Do you see your grandchildren regularly? Do you wish you saw them more or are you just happy to have any moments shared together?