“Surely, two of the most satisfying experiences in life must be those of being a grandchild or a grandparent.” » Donald A. Norberg
Larry and I have spent the last 10 days living with three of our grandchildren—two teenage boys and a 10-year-old girl. Talk about a change in life circumstance (more food to fix, more dishes to wash, more laundry, more garbage, more homework, and a lot more running)! Also, more smiles, more hugs, more laughter, more energy.
You’ve heard it said “If I’d have known grandchildren were this much fun, I’d have had them first.” If you can figure out a way to make it happen, I highly recommend it. Raising children is challenging, to say the least. Our relationships with our children and our parents are complicated. Relationships with our grandchildren are simple and joyful.
“To become a grandparent is to enjoy one of the few pleasures in life for which the consequences have already been paid.” (Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com) Grandchildren are the reward for doing the hard work of parenting and one of the few benefits of aging.
No baby smells as sweet or feels as good in your arms as your own grand baby. No preschooler is as cute or as witty as your grandchild. And no other teenagers are as talented or as smart as your grandsons and daughters.
Of course, I can only speak of my own experience, but for me, there is no love in this world so perfect, so joyful, so uncomplicated as the love between grandparents and grandchildren. When I walk through the door, and the little ones call “Grandma” and come running, the sound is more beautiful than any symphony. Even a simple thing like one of the older one’s saying, “Hey Grams, how was work?” or sharing a funny YouTube video with me melts my heart.
Our grandchildren accept us for ourselves, without rebuke or effort to change us, as no one in our entire lives has ever done, not our parents, siblings, spouses, friends — and hardly ever our own grown children. ~Ruth Goode
Whatever else I do with my future, I definitely want to spend time with my grandchildren. The thing is by the time I retire, they’ll be older–with friends, commitments, and priorities of their own. The oldest is 15 now, and the youngest is six. I can only hope that we have built the kind of relationships that keep them coming back.
And hey—we’re only about 10 years away from potential great grand babies. I wonder if they smell as sweet as grand babies?
Christie is an author and professional communicator who blogs about life transitions, wellness, mindfulness, and anything else that answers the question “So what? Now what?”