My children are so blessed with having amazing grandparents – my parents. They are not wealthy people who lavish and spoil them with expensive gifts but they are the very people who give them one thing that money can’t buy: their time.
And their love.
Unfortunately, we do not see them often because of geographical distance. In fact, Benjamin is turning 4 on October and it’s the first time my father met him (my mom was present when he was born in Dubai but left when he was barely 3 months old) during our recent vacation to the Philippines. The last time Pristine was with her grandparents was four years ago in Dubai when my father came to visit us.
I didn’t get to spend time with my own grandparents from both sides because they live very far, my mother’s parents lived in another island that’s a bit difficult to go, especially with small children. My father’s parents live far too, and it was expensive for us to travel before (not to mention the roads are dangerous and travel was long). So because of geography and life circumstances, I didn’t know what it was like to have grandparents as part of my everyday life growing up.
Now, I see how my children became instantly enamored with their grandparents and I realize how lucky they are to experience and feel the love of grandparents because there is no other love like it. A few days ago, I talked to my pre-teen about why I’m being grateful for grandparents, here’s what I came up:
1. Grandparents are eager to hear everything about my children.
I am thankful for my parents because as grandparents, I can share my kids’ successes without worrying about sounding braggy. They are so eager to hear all about it, because they’re just as attached to my kids as I am.
2. Grandparents have time to enjoy their grand kids.
Grandparents are past the age of raising a family, climbing the corporate ladder, and buying a first home so they don’t have the same worries as young moms and dads do and have more time to really enjoy the children and are more generous of their time.
3. Grandparents are older and wiser.
Grandparents have lived through the death of parents, siblings, and close friends. They’ve raised children, sent them to college, and married them off. Nothing is new for grandparents – they’ve been there and done that. They know so many life lessons and life skills!
4. Grandparents are super patient.
Because they are not sleep deprived and do not have to report early to work the next morning, have no deadlines to meet and do not have to deal with the day to day challenges of raising a child (children), grandparents have a lot more patience and grace than most parents do.
5. Finally, I am thankful that I get a glimpse of how they were as parents.
With this recent vacation, I learned why we didn’t go to other kids’ houses much when we were growing up. I also learned why we didn’t have too many toys (apart from the fact that it was difficult for us financially to buy each child a toy – we are six siblings!). My parents were hands-on parents. My mother, most especially, who stays at home never run out of activities for us. I saw how she taught my son to sing, my daughter to sew and cook, to take care of our dogs, prepare meals and so many other things – and realized, that was how we were before.
If you’re reading this and lucky enough to still have grandparents, visit them, cherish them and celebrate them while you still can.
Edited to add: “Why did it take me seven long years to fly back to my birth country?” My mother was with us here in Dubai for 5 years till 2012. The house they lived in back home was old and run down and the environment was bad, it was actually a health hazard. Pristine got sick the last time we were there in 2008. I also had asthma attacks…last year, my siblings and I got together and built a new house for my parents to live comfortably and for us to have a place to stay whenever we go back. The new house, completed just recently, is amazingly comfortable and convenient for the kids – I can say we can now regularly go back home and stay with them for a few weeks every year. 🙂