The Importance of Grandparents
Growing up as a kid, I only had two grandparents, both on my father's side as my mom's parents had passed away before I was born. Regardless, I was exceptionally close with my grandparents. Some of my fondest childhood memories were the weekends spent at their house, chasing rabbits in the nearby canyon, playing with my cousins, eating chicken tacos with ketchup instead of salsa and drinking 5 Alive. I was exceptionally blessed to have my grandmother around until my early twenties and get the chance for her to see my grow into a man, a lot of lessons and morales I still carry today came from her.
It's my experience with my grandparents that drive why I feel it is so important to have them in our children's lives. Fortunately, my mother-in-law is a short distance away and sees the kids almost weekly, which I know they love. Unfortunately, my parents are 5,500 miles away in California, so visits from them are only once or twice, dependant on us flying the eleven hours at Christmas. This summer, both of my parents flew over to see the twins for the first time. What we learned from these trips is quite interesting and something we didn't expect or really think about.
As we've been Skyping with them since the kids were born, you never know if the kids have any clue what's going on during these weekly video chats. However, it was apparent from almost the first interactions that the twins recognised their grandparents voices. Their reaction was one of calm and excitement as the voice on the other side of the iPad was now there in person. Strikingly, this has translated really well to post visit Skype sessions as the kids now seem to look for their faces and recognise the two dimensional image as Nanny or Grandpa along with their voices.
Having such a close relationship with my grandparents taught me just how special the relationship is. They are authoritative figures, but are a bit 'gentler' later on in the way that they can be confided in and your grandparents will have a different view or second opinion from your parents. Plus they are there to support the raising of the grandkids, making sure that the morales, lessons and love that they taught us, their kids, is being passed down. We won't go into mentioning the especially great bit of being spoiled rotten by the grandparents, that's just an added perk!
To me, grandparents are such a lovely gift to have in the lives of our children. Their support, words of wisdom, babysitting skills, love, spoiling, extra pair of hands is all what makes me glad that my kids have some truly wonderful and special grandparents in their lives.