The little girl with the wad of yarn on her needles is the same little girl that was so happy to get the blanket made on the size 50 needles. She just turned twelve in December and she is the oldest of our twelve grandchildren. We don’t get to spend much time together because she lives in Alabama but I feel a deep connection with her.
As a mother of boys, I had a lot to learn about girls. I wasn’t sure how to solve the sandal problem when it first came up at age three. She wanted to wear the glitter sandals that hurt her feet and I wanted her to wear the comfortable sandals. My sons had just worn the same dirty sneakers every day. Now, I have twelve years of experience with granddaughters. I know how to find a pair of comfortable glitter sandals!
The grandparent generation is charged with providing unconditional love to children that parents cannot. The parents have to raise the child and having been through that, I know there are times when it certainly feels like love is conditional and it is. Grandparents have more freedom to just be present to the child without the laundry list of distractions that parents have.
It’s painful to live far from grandchildren but what I have discovered is that love is not based on the frequency of connection but on the depth of connection. We have made a commitment to visit often and during those visits spend time with the children that allows us to really get to know them and help them understand how deeply we love and care about them.
I understand why generationally living can be a gift. We have lived with our children and grandchildren at different times. The love and attention we are able to give to the grandchildren make a difference in their lives.
Each generation has something to give. As we anticipate Christmas, let’s pray to be good givers and receivers!