Savoring the moments of grandparenting is a skill we should strive to develop. Most of us are more and more mindful of the passage of time as we get older. As our life expectancy shortens, we can choose to live in fear or live in appreciation. Choosing an appreciation, gratitude, and wonder mindset makes life much more enjoyable. Let’s think through some of the moments we can savor as grandparents.
Savoring the Moments with Newborn Grandchildren
Each new life is a gift. Babies are amazingly beautiful if we pause to appreciate them. Having cells come together and grow into tiny human beings is miraculous. Combine that with incredibly soft skin, perfectly formed tiny hands and feet, and brand new faces that may already show genetic similarities to parents and other ancestors.
Now, think about how often we can hold and cuddle a newborn throughout life. For most, it’s a small percentage of time.
Yet, in holding a brand new human being, we are confronted very personally with human frailty, potential, and individuality.
We can contemplate our responsibilities for perpetuating and nurturing the generations.
We can see the future in our grandkids from the earliest moments and weeks of their lives.
We get the opportunity to deeply appreciate the beauty of human life in the most personal way possible with a little one we have loved since the moment we knew they were coming into the world.
Savoring the Moments with Toddlers and Grade School-Age Grandchildren
These are the formative years when we truly see personality begin to show up.
Chubby little souls to whom everything is brand new and full of wonder begin to step away from Mom and Dad just a bit. They go to school to develop friendships and interests. If we embrace their exploration of the world instead of being impatient with their constant questions, we can experience the wonder of the world around us.
Bugs get interesting again,
Dandelions become beautiful bouquets,
And experiences get sweeter with the laughter or earnest surprise of little ones.
Grade school years bring the opportunity to see young minds develop. Reasoning, learning, and expressing their newfound knowledge through activities and interests begin to shape a young personality further.
Grandparents can better appreciate some of these moments than we might have had for our children. Not because we loved our children less but because our ongoing maturing process tends to bring a deeper appreciation for the simpler things of life.
Savoring the Moments with Teenagers and Young Adults
These years can be both tough and rewarding to watch.
We can relate to the struggles of the teen years because this is our third round of the angst that comes with fledgling adults. We experienced it, guided our children through it, and now see a third generation seeking their place.
Fortunately, if we choose to be wise and not dismiss these as impossible years, we can bring calm to all experiences. We can encourage our children as they struggle with teen troubles or push for independence. We can also be our grandkids' sounding board and wise counselors if we’ve built a solid relationship with them in the early years.
To me, these are some of the most amazing moments to savor.
The grandkids relate to us on a more and more adult level. We can explore their hopes and dreams and help them along the path to achieving them. What an honor and privilege to share in that development.
I love anticipating what the future might be like for our very different grandkids. Perhaps you’ve spent time speculating, too.
Take time to savor the moments of grandparenting, my friend.
Each stage of growth comes with the opportunity to participate and be a part of building the future of the next generation. Spending quality family time together, communicating regularly and effectively, and working with parents to provide solid family values and experiences will pay off.
Your grandkids will be blessed for your participation in their young lives, and you will have beautiful memories captured by spending time with family.