Today’s is National Grandparents Day and I like that it’s designed to be a two-way celebration. Not only is this holiday, which earned official status in 1978, meant to show appreciation for the knowledge, love and guidance of grandparents but for grandparents to return that love.
My oldest son has two children but my granddaughter lives in Japan and I haven’t seen her other than an occasional picture since she was one; seven years ago. (The story behind that heartbreak will have to wait for another day.) His son, Alex, now lives across country but we have a great relationship thanks to technology and tenacity. His mom and I work hard at it.
Alex lived near us until a few months after his second birthday. Seeing him grow and change those two years gave my husband and I immense joy. I had the honor of watching him come into the world and every moment since with him has been a present.
When they moved for job reasons, my heart hurt even though I knew it was best for the family. We figured out ways to grandparent long distance. Skype chats are supplemented with in-person visits, packages and cards.
Seeing your children grow into parents and loving a child without all the responsibility are two of the reasons being a grandparent is so different from the parent experience. I’m looking forward to the day other grandchildren come into our lives but appreciate every day we have now.
Being a grandparent has given me new insight into my own grandparents. Each set of grandparents had over a dozen grandchildren and it was difficult to get individual attention but somehow they found away to do so. We didn’t have trips to Legoland or boxes of gifts like Alex does, but love and attention are things money can’t buy.
It’s a lot to think about as we remember and celebrate Grandparents today. Enjoy the moments; they end too soon! What’s your favorite Grandparents moment?