I don’t mean to brag, but my parents are the best grandparents. Why? Because they give their grandchildren one gift.
Time is such a simple thing. Something we parents tend to gripe a lot about. It seems like there’s never enough of it. Between work, school, extra-curriculars, baths, bedtimes, potty training, practicing reading, homework, doing the things we want to do, and doing the things we need to do…24 hours in a day is not nearly enough.
My parents are in their mid-70’s. They are in relatively good health, retired, and travel well. In fact, they just upgraded their vehicle because they put over a hundred thousand miles on it. Doing what? Driving. To track meets and basketball games, dance recitals and church sacraments, school concerts, and sometimes simply for a chance to say, hello.
Don’t be jaded. I, their daughter, am not running races or perfecting my pirouette. My children are. And that’s who my parents really want to see and spend time with: their grandchildren.
Time is an umbrella.
As grandparents, my parents understand the phase we, as parents, are currently in. The phase where life is busy and hectic…a phase with a lack of time. That doesn’t stop them from enjoying their grandchildren. They take them camping and fishing when we are out of town. They send birthday cards and homemade bread because they know my kids will devour it. They’ll drive two hours to watch a fifteen-minute performance simply because they can.
And for one glorious week out of every summer, they take ALL the grandchildren. No parents, just the kids. We call it Grandkid’s Week. The neighbors call it Camp Grandma and wish their kids could attend. For seven days, my parents are greedy little grandparents, thoroughly enjoy 20 grandchildren, ranging in age from 2 to 25. They feed them. They work them. They discipline them. They mediate cousin and sibling conflicts. They also let them play and run and eat watermelon off the rind.
This time spent together is so much more than the minutes on a wristwatch. It’s card games and face-to-face conversations. It’s hugs that are meant. It’s prayers that are felt. It’s a love that is forever.
Grandparents give what they can give.
Ours don’t take my kids to lavish places. They don’t attend every function. They don’t man the carpool. They give what they can give. Their time. And for this, I am thankful.
Thank you to grandparents everywhere who spend hours and hours of their precious time with their grandchildren. This time of building relationships, creating memories, and loving deeply is well-spent.