“…but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments” Exodus 20:6 (NIV).
I love watching our children with their grandparents. The interactions between both sets make my heart happy. The love that passes between them, the bonds they have formed and which continue to deepen make me proud. Our children are learning so much from their grandparents, and I would like to think their grandparents are learning from them too.
The other day my littlest was invited over to play. He got his backpack all ready with stuff to take and then called Papa to pick him up. He looked so proud standing at the door waiting for his arrival. Once Papa came, it took a few minutes for our littlest to get adjusted in the van, climbing up into the too-big seat all by himself and dragging his backpack full of heavy toys beside him. However, Papa wasn’t in any hurry, and it was all right with him to wait that extra few minutes for our youngest to stretch his independence and build some self-confidence.
The same thing happens when he practices his communication skills on the telephone with my parents. They are familiar enough with his language, spending time with him twice a week, that the conversations about dinosaurs and wrestling as well as inside jokes flow freely back and forth.
It’s not just about our littlest child, though. I love how this summer our oldest took the responsibility to help Papa keep the lawn mowed. His self-esteem grew as he accepted mens’ work because he has an important role in keeping our family running smoothly. Our daughter is very kind and sweet to Gramma too. She helps her clean around the house or goes over to spend time together “just because.” All of our children enjoy going and visiting at my parents’ house as well. Time outdoors, sharing pizza and game nights, or just having a chance to borrow books from my mom’s vast library.
I love how grandparents naturally have a slower pace. I believe God allowed us the privilege to start life crawling and then slow down toward the end as well. What a great way to appreciate all the wonderful creations He has blessed us with. When going for a walk, little children notice every rock, branch, bird, and flower. When helping children, grandparents take their time brushing hair, getting them dressed, and fixing them meals. They instinctively know it’s more about the heart-to-heart talks than actually assisting with life skills.
Grandparents bring a lot of wisdom and experience, and hopefully also a lot of love and humor to relationships with their grandchildren. Grandkids bring back laughter, innocence, and a second chance to enjoy precious moments grandparents might not have had time to experience with their own children.
Today I want to say thank you for the grandparents who have been in my life as well as to our parents who are grandparents to our kids. You’re all a blessing to our family – thank you!
© 2013 Cheri Swalwell