“Grandchildren complete life’s circle of love.” – Anonymous.

It is a special joy and privilege to be a grandparent. Grandchildren provide us with love, laughter, and loads of fun. We get a license to be “silly” again. Young grandchildren laugh easily at our antics, and they don’t judge our singing ability (or lack thereof)!  I have been fortunate to be a grandparent several times, but constraints of distance and work often limited the time that I can spend with them.

“Being a grandparent means you can be as silly as you want to be.”
– Unknown

I recently started babysitting my newest grandchild one day a week while my daughter works. I confess that I was nervous at first, out of practice with being totally responsible for a wee one. However, I soon got into the swing of things. Watching this new granddaughter change and mature week by week is a joy. She is a toddler now and it will soon be a challenge to keep up! I recently went down a playground slide with her and recalled the times when I had gone down waterslides with my other grandchildren. I hope to have the energy to do that with this grandchild too!

Being a grandparent again has made me reflect on my own experiences growing up. My family moved to Alberta, Canada from Britain when I was almost seven. We lived in a different city from our extended family, so I didn’t know them well before we emigrated. We only went back to Britain twice while I was a child, but I remember those visits with fondness. They were full of new experiences and fun.

Today, despite minimal contact for many years, I am back in contact with my extended British family. When I retired, we made a trip over to Britain and made a point of visiting my remaining relatives. Since then, letters, e-mail, and video conferencing have enabled a closer relationship over long distances.

You may relate to this story because it is a common situation for today’s mobile families. Many of us have loved ones that live far away. I didn’t really understand what I had missed growing up, but I always had a soft spot for older people. Those feelings eventually evolved into visiting the elderly as a volunteer. My children were more fortunate as their grandparents were close by and they got to know them quite well. Three of my grandchildren live too far away to see often. Despite the distance, we try to make the times we do have together, special. I am proud of the young adults that the older grandchildren are becoming, and I enjoy hearing about their unique interests. 

I suppose the learning from my experiences is that relationships can be built and maintained even at a great distance. It is possible to re-establish contact and common interests after long absences, and as loved ones mature and change. We have new online tools that enable us to enjoy each other’s company, even if we are on opposite sides of the world. Sharing our lives and experiences with loved ones creates special memories that last a lifetime. We need to take every opportunity to make them count!

“Grandchildren give us a second chance to do things better because they bring out the best in us.” – Unknown

4 Responses

  1. Heather, love your blog!
    I did not have the good fortune to know my grandparents well as they lived in Europe. I have made it my mission to be in my grandkids lives as much as possible. That was one of the reasons I retired when I did, so I could help out my son and daughter in law and take care of my little trio all the time! Best decision I made!!!

    1. Thanks so much Carol! It is wonderful that you are able to be such an active presence in your grandkids lives. I am so glad that one of my grandkids is now closer by and I’m excited to see my teenaged grandchildren this summer!

  2. You are blessed to have grandchildren, they are extremely lucky to have you as a grandmother. You are very young at heart.

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