Wednesday, September 3, 2003
I have not provided any grandkids for my parents. However, I love to watch my sisters’ kids interact with our parents. It seems to me that having grandkids is the reward for putting up with your own kids.
Yep, grandparents and grandkids were meant to go together.
Half of my parents’ grandkids were visiting this past weekend, and I got to be an observer. I watched Dad taking time to tease and play with the grandkids like he never did with us. I watched Mom play game after game of Sorry with her grandson, and get her granddaughter started baking cookies then take over without complaint when she got distracted by other things. They never had the time to do those things with us—that was for our grandparents.
I started thinking about the memories they are creating. Should either or both of them die tomorrow, even the youngest grandchild is old enough to remember. When they get together as adults and reminisce, they are going to remember the farm and Grandma and Grandpa as a slice of heaven. They are going to remember playing cops and robbers on the giant hay bales with their cousins. They are going to remember feeding Grandpa’s calves and baking cookies in Grandma’s kitchen. They are going to remember tramping for miles over the prairie, and getting as noisy and grubby as they pleased. They are going to remember playing with endless litters of kittens. They are going to remember Grandma reading them story after story and playing endless games of Scrabble and Sorry. They are going to remember Grandpa teasing them, and their delight when they learned to give as good as they got.
They will not be remembering the hard parts of life on a farm, because they never knew them. Those memories are for their parents, the children their grandparents raised. This is their escape from their own real world. They will grow up with their own problems within their immediate family, but Grandma and Grandpa and the farm will always be separate from all that, a little Utopia run by angels who love them unconditionally.
And, one hopes, when they have children of their own, their parents will become that kind of grandparents to their children.