When I was growing up, I lived in the same neighborhood as my grandparents. I loved walking to their house. No matter what I did, whether it was baking bread, “sewing” rags, or dusting, my grandma made me feel amazing. Like I was a prodigy. (There are prodigy dusters, right?)
But it was more than just fun. Being with my grandparents was life-giving to me. And now that I’ve become I a mom, I understand how important it was for my parents as well.
Five and a half years into this thing called motherhood, I still call my parents regularly for advice. Because it’s hard. And because I know enough to know that I have no idea what I’m doing. So I am beyond grateful God invented the, [INSERT GRANDPARENTS HERE], button.
Both sets of grandparents live out-of-town in our family, but that doesn’t make this button any less important. I still make an effort to have them be part of our weekly life. We call so my children can tell their grandparents how their day/week went or have someone else to complain to about how mean I am. When grandparents bless us with a visit, I make an effort to give them time alone to play. (I usually try to do something productive with that time as well, such as nap.)
It’s so important for moms (and dads) to get a break. But this time is about more than that. As parents, we have the heavy responsibly of working to make our children into awesome adults.
Grandparents just get to love.
Yes, kids should listen to grandma and grandpa. And yes, grandparents need to support parents by following their guidelines. But loving those grand babies is their biggest responsibility. And when it’s done right, it’s powerful.
I used to get excited when I was sick, because then I got to go over to grandma’s house. She would sit on the couch, with my head in her lap, and stroke my hair. All day. When we visited my other set of grandparents on their farm, I would get up at 5am, just to ride the tractor with grandpa. These memories shaped my childhood. I’m not the only one in my family that can share tractor stories, but in those moments, I felt like I was.
Special. Understood. Cherished. Gifts born from loving in a way only grandparents can.
So thank you, grandma and grandpa, for giving me those moments. And thank you mom and dad, for sharing new ones with my sons.