It’s different with grandparents. Grandbabies never cry. Grandtoddlers never have tantrums, and all grandchildren are above average. After all the gushing, there comes the inevitable statement, so entrenched in the psyche that you can count on no more than three fingers before it bubbles out of every grandma and grandpa (well, except me). Wait for it…..one…. two… But if they ever do (misbehave, get sick, flunk kindergarten) you just give them back to their parents! Ding Ding, there it is.
But it’s a lie.
The truth is, yes, you can give them back, and yes, you are generally free of the responsibility of their everyday care, but those freedoms come with a price. What no one tells you is how deeply you will love your grandchildren. They are as close to your heart as your own children, yet some interloper comes in and takes them away, just when you feel the kiddoes love and have accepted your quirky ways as well as they love and accept their parents. And this happens over and over, unless you are fortunate enough to see them on a daily basis.
It is a constant battle rhythm of helloes and good-byes, each one tearing a bit out of your heart. If parenting is a slow but steady process from complete dependence to independence, grandparenting is a zig-zagged path to the same destination. You will learn to cope with it, but it would have been easier knowing this going in. And now you do.
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