My Grandson was born on Christmas morning last year. Looking at his perfectly formed body and adorable face makes me so full of hope and inspiration for his and my future and I can’t stop smiling. I spend hours dreaming about what our life will be like together. I picture pushing him in his baby carriage, taking him to the playground, teaching him to cook, feeding and changing him and watching him grow and evolve. While I am relishing this new rite of passage of being a grandparent, I am thankful that my Grandson has two parents and a half brother and sister to attend to his everyday needs.
I didn’t grow up with my Grandparents. I never knew my Mother’s parents and my Father only had a Mother by the time I came along. She never learned English so the only way to communicate with her was to speak Spanish which none of the kids in my generation of our family were taught because it was my family’s way of Anglosizing and assimilating into America.
I think you are given a second chance to get it right as a Grandparent. I think I was a good Mom to my kids, I mean as adults they still like me. But I am sure there are things I could have done better. So with my Grandson, I will do things better.
According to The Department of Health and Human Services, parents clearly benefit from having a grandparent in a child’s life: There’s that extra pair of hands for diapering, soothing, cooking, and reliable childcare. But the children benefit, as well.
Provide a sense of family continuity and history;
Have stories to tell and are great transmitters of the family’s cultural heritage;
Contribute to the children’s sense of belonging and security;
Become additional role models;
Often have more time than parents for reading stories, teaching new skills, and playing games; and,
Have a vested interest in the well-being and healthy development of their grandchildren.
At this moment in time, my focus is spending as much time as I can with my Grandson so when he gets a little older, I can give him the best Grandparent experience ever. In the words of Aretha Franklin, I’m daydreaming and I’m thinking of you.