As if we needed reminding: We can't help ourselves when it comes to falling in love with our Grands. So here's Connie Schultz to express it for us and remind us why we are important to them and to their parents, whether or not they are genetically our direct descendants. (Schultz's beloved first grandchild --"The relationship between a child and a grandparent is the closest I've ever come to experiencing magic."-- is the son of her stepson. Well, let her tell it and why it's relevant to our role as grandparents:
My grandson and I are not what you might assume us to be. I did not meet his daddy until his daddy was 6, through marriage. I was raising his father full time by the time he was 8. Ten years after my divorce, he walked me down the aisle to marry the man who is the love of my life.
If you were ever misguided enough to tell me that our beginnings mean he is not my son, our conversation would be brief, and I dare say you would not enjoy it. He is my son, and he has given me this miracle of a grandson.
That is only the beginning of this crazy tale of this family of ours. My husband and I brought two children each into our marriage, and we now have five grandchildren, period. Challenge this at your peril.
Why am I telling you all of this, you might wonder.
Well, it's summer, which is that time of year when so many grandparents long to see the children they love no matter what. No matter who is divorcing. No matter who brought them into the world. No matter who is angry with whom.
Children should not bear the burden of unfinished grudges. This is especially true now, when the briefest snippet of overheard news via TV or radio can make a child believe the world has lost its collective mind.
I'm not saying grandparents are perfect or that we're even someone you'd choose for neighbors. But we are in this for your children. For so many of us, the moment we become grandparents, in whatever way that happens, something changes in us.
Your children become the center of our universe. Shouldn't they know that? Shouldn't all children, everywhere, get to feel that way at least once in their lives?