For almost a decade my wife and I have watched my nieces and nephews have several children, letting my in-laws have these great grandparent experiences. You watch these babies grow up, play with them on occasion, and get all sorts of pictures and videos. But we are not really involved in their lives, living many miles away.
Yippee! That changed last December, as our first grandchild, a boy, was born. A huge benefit is that he lives in Eau Claire! He is just a joy to watch, as my wife and I usually get to watch him once a week for a few hours, and sometimes more. I think the only time I have heard him cry was when he has to get bundled up to go home.
But, a bit of a backstory, in that we do have a grandchild. However, he was placed for adoption and is doing very well in Oklahoma, but we are not part of his life. Since all of my children are adopted, this is a topic for a future blog.
Certainly, there will be challenges ahead. Our home will need to be baby-proofed, again. And let’s face it; kids can be, well, little monsters at times. They require time, effort, and patience. But is it not true that as grandparents we get to spoil them more than their parents? Give them candy, ice cream, and Mountain Dew before you send them home?
Grandparents provide a valuable resource to share their stories and histories, and also offer links to their family history. My wife and I both have so many stories about our grandparents we can share. We hope to be able to set limits and lessons from parents, to listen, and show them we understand. And to always know they are loved.
For those grandparents who are needed to raise their grandchildren, there are several resources to help. USA.gov is a federal government website that has a special page for grandparents raising grandchildren. You can get access to information here about government benefits and social services, insurance and financial planning information, and all kinds of other resources to help with raising grandchildren. Of course, the library also has a variety of books on not only government benefits but also the lifelong benefits of watching family grow.
For all you grandchildren out there, Sunday, September 12, is National Grandparents Day.
We are blessed to watch this new person grow and learn and to hopefully be an important part of his life.