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Thankful Thoughts About Being Grandparents

When we had our first child after 15 years of marriage, we were not thinking about being grandparents.  When Allan chose a missionary lifestyle after college graduation, we were not thinking about being grandparents.  When Allan married Kelsie about six years ago, we were not thinking about being grandparents.  When we knew that this wonderful daughter-in-law was also very mission-minded, we thought there would probably be grandchildren at some point in our lives, but never thought they might live near to us.  The blessings of being grandparents are new every day, and we are so thankful for three grandchildren!   But the most unexpected blessing of all is that now we actually live only about 10 minutes from them and can experience not only their first days of life on earth, but also their day-to-day lives.  That is a surprise package that only God could gift wrap.

 

We know from Psalm 127:3 that “Children are a gift from the Lord…” (and yes, they are the gift that keeps on giving even to our generation) and that  “they are a reward from Him.” And sweet rewards come in so many ways just because we are Gran and PaPa.  We know from Proverbs 17:6 that “Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged….”  And yes, sometimes we feel a little like royalty just because we are the grandparents, especially when they are noticeably good in public settings.  But somewhere in the gifts and the rewards and the crowning glory there is also an education.   Even though our grandchildren at this time are all under 4 years old, we are submersed in a new “What, When, Where, Why and How Curriculum and they are the teachers.

 

Sometimes we don’t listen and are not very smart students.  Sometimes it takes a lot of repetition before we get it.  Sometimes we don’t do our homework.  But here are some of the lessons we have learned so far in our “grandchildrening education” sessions:

 

 1.        To make someone feel loved and appreciated, run back for that second good-bye hug and kiss.

 2.        Someone who feels important at your house will want to come back again and often.

 3.        Knowing and having someone’s “favorites” (especially food) makes them feel very special.

 4.        Spending time with someone makes comfortable expectations for the next visit.

 5.        Laughing really does make you feel better and happier.

 6.        Regularly practice recognizing and reviewing your options quickly for small emergencies.

 7.        Doing only one thing at a time reduces frustration.

 8.        If something is frustrating, just throw it down (or put it aside for a while).

 9.        If a meltdown is near or in process, get distracted or get a snack.

10.       If you have a favorite, make sure it’s everyone.

 

Many of you who are grandparents are probably alot further along than we are and have your own long list of lessons learned.  Many of you have probably already completed the classes and have had excellent results.  And many of you are like we are, still practicing, still studying, still loving all the lessons and enjoying the gifts and the rewards.   But wherever we are in Grandchildrening School, we are enjoying, anticipating, and so thankful for all the blessings that come with it.

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