After spending the last three days with my grandchildren, I have reached some inspired conclusions. I have raised three and one half children. (Because one was my stepson who I acquired through marriage to my wonderful wife. He was eight when He became pat of my life.) Although I had fun with my brood, I was always busy with work and trying to provide for the family. This was difficult and made more so by the fact that I traveled for around 20 years. Simply put, I didn’t have and didn’t make time to really enjoy watching my own children being “kids”
Then something amazing happened that changed all the rules. My oldest son (through marriage) got married to a beautiful, sweet girl, from Texas, of course, and in a few years, they had a son! I was won over, as Papa, instantly. I loved that little baby boy so much I can’t even describe it in words. He and I were buddies from the very beginning, and though we live in the Houston metro are, we would fly or drive to Austin regularly. At this point, I’m semi retired and have the time and desire to make these weekend trips.
Two and one half years later (2014) the same couple had a baby girl. I was overcome with joy (my fist two children were girls, and I couldn’t wait to have a granddaughter).
My mother and father had five children, all married now, and 13 grandchildren. I watched, with some curiosity, how my parents had changed in there approach to child rearing, when it concerned the grandchildren. So much different than when we were growing up! They were nice and spoiled the grands rotten, while still holding some sense of order, it was surrealistic!
I am now smack dab in the middle of that surrealism. I sit and watch in wonder as these babies go through their life. My grandson is now two and a half and fully in to being a little boy. I can sit in the back yard with him and watch him play with his cars, both little and ride upon. I watch him pick up 1 gallon paint cans and carry them to his “Little Tikes” truck, load then up and then ride his truck to another location and then take the cans out. His sandbox was covered with a tarp that was full of rainwater and he wanted to play in the sandbox. I picked up a five gallon bucket and started to bail water. He went an found one of his little buckets and started to help me. Together, we bailed 60 gallons of water out of that tarp. When we removed the tarp, here was about 35 more gallons in the sand itself, so we bailed it out. My feet were wet and Waylan’s shirt and pants were soaked, but we finished the job, and had so much fun doing it.
I spent several hours each day holding my almost 4 month old granddaughter and we “talked”. She looks at me intently as I tell her how she is beautiful and how she will be the “belle of the ball”. As I talk, she will grin in a big open mouth smile that almost becomes an out loud laugh. The we snuggle.
I cannot stop watching and smiling, and I cannot get them out of my mind. Why am I like this?
Well, I think that God gives you children and you spend your time working to support the family and trying to raise the children to be responsible adults and you don’t stop and “smell the roses”. But then God gives you grandchildren from those that you raised, and it’s your job to just love them. That’s it. Take all the time you need to LOVE THEM. Enjoy watching them, no matter what they are doing. Take walks with them. Explore leaves and bugs and dogs and squirrels and such. Eat grapes and play with the food. Go swimming. At this time in life, what else IS there to do. You are to be the grandchild’s best friend. Support their parent’s rearing wishes and reinforce their methods, but be fun and spend all the time you can with them. This is God’s gift to parents…letting them be grandparents!
And that’s why we are here.