Tuesday, June 03, 2008

parents as grandparents

My parents are so different as grandparents. Things are a lot more secure for them than they ever were while my brother and I were growing up, so obviously that helps. But being around them, I get the distinct impression that the joys of grandparenthood are the hidden secrets of parenthood. I say this as my boys eat plain pasta and veggies for dinner (parent of the year here).

David will be 5 this week- Andrew will be 4 in a month. I am the luckiest mom around because my mom and Pauline take such pleasure in babysitting my boys three days a week. The really awesome part is how excited the boys are to spend time at grandma's house- every week, three times a week. When the boys were younger, someone told me that mothers really suffered from the mobility of the nuclear family- no longer were we so close to a family support network. In my case, I am in 100% agreement. My family has been able to thrive as a result of my mother's sincere desire to spend a lot of quality time with my children.

Now my dad is moving to Texas for at the most 5 or 6 years. Never mind my own denial and sadness. My dad, living in Baltimore for the past decade or so, has visited at least once a month, or more, since the children were born. His wife, "grandma' Sherry is a favorite of the boys too since she plays computer games with them and has an seemingly boundless amount of energy to play with them. The boys love it when they come visit- so much so, that David just assumes we are going to Texas with them when Grandpa and 'grandma' Sherry move there. David likes the idea of traveling by plane to Texas too, in congruent thoughts but he is only 4 still.

I leave out Chris' family in this discussion but I dont mean to suggest they are irrelevant- Chris's mom frequently brings my boy's cousins to play and plans her days off to coincide with time she can help us out and spend quality time with the boys all this while living three hours away.

Finally, my parents do not seem old at all to me (their bdays are this month too-nor are they imho). I remember vividly thinking my grandparents were elderly. I get the distinct impression my children dont think of my parents (or Chris' mom) as elderly because of the very active and important role they have played in their upbringing. Of course, some day when the children are older, they will tell me their impressions (as my brother and I constantly amaze my parents with our impressions). Today I know they are so loved and engaged by their grandparents- and obviously I am very grateful.

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