Saturday, April 10, 2010

Being a Grandparent

My son (coming up ten years old) once explained to me why being a grandparent is such a wonderful thing.

"All that happens is you get a phone call that says, 'Congratulations! You're a grandparent!' with none of that carrying a baby around for nine months."

Out of the mouths of babes, eh?

He's been away on a school trip and we noticed that he is not keen to make contact on the phone. Conclusion: our son is growing up.

That is good. That is very good.

(I am the one who must get used to him being away from me. )

Still a part of me thinks he is never going to understand what it feels to be a parent, UNTIL he becomes a parent himself (ie when I get to be a grandparent).

However where children are concerned, you know how you keep telling them that childhood is the best time of one's lives when we could live without a care (at least it was when I was growing up). We tell them school days are the best days because we did not have to be burdened with the worries of earning a living.

Do they believe us? Would they ever understand?

My major objective these days (and for the past decade) has been to make a childhood for my son that he could look back and say, "Those were really some of the happiest times of my life."

Am I succeeding? You would have to check back in about 15 years' time, I guess.

Last night as I went to bed I just kept thinking how nice it would be if my husband and I would get to see a first grandchild at least. As we married late and one of us has a chronic (incurable) disease, it is quite a hope to cling to.


I would like to see my son when he is able to view the world as a parent. And then only would he understand what his parents had gone through. I think we can look forward to some really great conversations which are both between parent and child and between parent and parent at the same time.

He hates it when the Luther Vandross song with the poignant words "to dance with my father again" comes on radio. (I suspect deep down he is worried about losing his father.)

Sometimes I also share that sentiment of the songwriter: O! if only I had "another chance" to talk with my own father again, not just as a daughter, but as a fellow parent as well, how wonderful that would be.

And I suspect my husband would also love to be able to do that with his own father. We did not get a chance to tell him that another grandchild was on the way when he was taken away from us without any warning.

Yes, as we approach Father's Day my eyes well up thinking of the grandparents my son does not have, I can only hope to be a grandparent myself. Strange!

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