Growing up, I didn’t have a close relationship with my grandparents. I had one nearby granny, who we visited in her retirement home on occasion. The rest of my grandparents either died before I was born, or lived overseas. My grandfather in England was just a voice on the telephone, and a kind note in the regular birthday cards. As a kid, I never really figured what I was missing out on. Then I had my own kid, and realized what an incredible blessing grandparents are.
Grandparents are the greatest gift, to
children and parents
My daughter has grown up with her grandparents as an every day part of her life. It ultimately saddens me that she never got the chance to sit upon my dad’s lap and listen to his stories, but it’s sometimes quite strange for me when I realise how much of him I see in her facial expressions. He died just three weeks after she was born. My mum played a big part in her life, and although we didn’t see enough of each other before she died, she’s in my daughter’s thoughts and conversations every day. EveGranny, as we call her, is someone she still speaks of, and I will never forget the final moments my daughter had with my mum – lying cuddled up in bed together, holding hands and talking.
And then, we have her other grandparents – her father’s parents, who have been with us and in her life, all the way through. They are stalwarts of her existence, and they devote their lives to her. They’re involved, they’re listening, and most of all, they’re loving. They take pride in her every step through life, and they’re right beside us as we take on each challenge.
Finding someone you can trust
For a single parent, one of the biggest challenges you’ll ever have to encounter is the issue of entrusting anyone with your child. We’re lucky…so lucky in fact. I realised, recently, that we’re truly surrounded by people who love us without boundary, and who I can trust with her precious life.
Nothing brought this more home to me, than just the other day. There we were, at lunch, with my magnificent boyfriend’s parents. Due to see friends shortly afterwards, my daughter decided she’d rather stay with the magnificent boyfriend’s parents, than go off with “boring old” mommy. She had so much fun with them. That night, as I was putting her to bed after a long day of fun and love, she said, “Mama, I’m lucky. Most children get two pairs of grandparents. I’ve got three. Mama, I’ve got so much family and love my heart feels hot”.
As I walked out of her room, I held back my tears. I’ve never been more grateful for the gift of grandparents – the ones we have, the ones we’re given and the ones that have become.
Read more by Cath Jenkin.
Do your children have wonderful grandparents who loves them?