The Other Parents

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Life can change in the blink of an eye. What we do with that change is completely up to us.

I became a grandmother for the very first time in July. The bundle of joy was born 5 weeks early and weighed 3 pounds 11 ounces. All time had stopped and she changed my life forever!

We think we are going down one path and at this point in our lives it may be relatively easy. Grandchildren changed that path to the point that there is no going back.

Many of us have raised our children and seen them off, hopefully, down their own path in life. We figured that now we have time to do the things we have always wanted to do. Some of us are living our dreams. Some of us found ourselves as ‘the other parents.’

It seems more and more retirees are now in the position of watching and even raising their grandchildren to some degree. While it may be challenging to keep up with little ones who can run circles around us, it is also an opportunity.

The time I spend with my granddaughter opens my eyes to a world I missed raising my own children. Working full time, taking care of the family, running here and there certainly added to the stress of my life. I missed so much of my children’s growing years. I felt that I had so little influence over the adults they had become.

Life gives us a second chance with grandchildren. We have the opportunity to do all the things we had intended to do with our own children. We watch them grow, change and experience their many firsts: their first smile, their first steps and their first words.

As grandparents, we have the time to just be with our grandchildren and give them undivided attention. It allows us to reverse any perceived mistakes we may have felt that we made with our own children. We can give and receive unconditional love without all the pressures of the outside world.

I know that it is different for every grandparent. Everyone has their own unique story to share. I can only speak for myself. To me, grandparents can be the guiding light for their grandchildren giving them the freedom to just be themselves. That is a true gift.

To all the grandparents out there, thank you for your love, patience and support, not only for your children but especially for your children’s children. You DO make a difference.

What do you love about being a grandparent? What is your unique story to share?

Live, Laugh, Love

Gretchen


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