The connection between children and their grandparents hits differently, and if you got to grow up knowing yours, you should count yourself lucky. I remember wishing every day as a child that I could go live with my grandmother. I loved my parents very dearly, but my grandmother was and has remained the most amazing woman I know. I could never understand the special connection I shared with her, and honestly, I hope I never fathom it. I’ve been afraid that growing older and becoming an adult might sever that bond, but somehow, we are closer than ever before.
Grandparents love differently, a refreshing kind of guileless, sacrificial love sweetened by the wisdom of old age. From the perspective of a grandparent, a grandchild is that person you can love more than your own kids. I remember asking my grandmother how she and I could be so close despite the age difference. She gave me an answer that would have seemed vague to a child so young, but surprisingly, it made a lot of sense. She said, “It is exactly as it should be.”
She explained that she didn’t have to be a disciplinarian like my parents, and she was allowed (by some grandparental constitution) to spoil us as she pleased. When people get older, they tend to become less uptight and more open-minded. I could talk to her about things I was certain would make my mother go ballistic, and she’d listen without a hint of judgment. She corrected me where necessary, but she wasn’t too keen on putting up so many rules and restrictions in a young girl’s life.
I’ve permanently associated the thoughts of my grandmother with the smell of apple pie and lavender perfume. They all pop into my head like a simultaneous reaction. She forgets sometimes that I’m no longer five and when I visit, I’d find a batch of freshly-baked cookies waiting for me. Heck, who says I ever got tired of being five? Those cookies are purely life-giving.
Grandparents are always there for their families
They’d always be there when you need them, and it doesn’t matter how many million miles are in between. Whenever our parents needed help with us kids, my grandmother would abandon her elderly chess club and sit six hours on a train to come to look after us for a while. It never mattered if she was in the middle of a tournament. When her grandchildren needed her, she would move mountains and scale the widest seas to be there for them as soon as possible.
Grandparents often teach us the true meaning of family — people that you don’t choose, but you’re theirs anyway and you’d ride it out with them for life. They teach us, unconditional love, in the simplest and most sacrificial ways, often going out of their way to make sure their grandkids are always happy.
They love their grandkids more than words could ever quantify
To be a parent is to know love in its purest form, but to watch your child become a parent is to feel your heart exploding with feelings you cannot explain. That bubbling baby of yours, whom it only feels like it was yesterday they were crying down the whole house and taking their first steps is now a parent. They feel twice the love your parents feel for you, and in my grandmother’s verdict, that is exactly as it should be.
If you are fortunate enough to still have your grandparents with you, always make sure to stay in touch with them. Elderly people are often more neglected and lonely than we care to imagine, and it’s unfair to socially isolate such special and important people. Call them every day if you could. Let them know how much you love them and how grateful you are to have them in your life.
Grandparents give love in its purest form, and even when they are no longer with you, they are always watching over you.
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