As you get older, you start to see your grandparents in a different light. When I look back and think about my grandparents I realise I used to find it impossible to imagine them ever being young. My gran loved playing bingo on a Tuesday and Thursday evening, and my grandpa played bowls every Wednesday. I was playing bingo online the other night, when the kids were tucked up in bed and it got me thinking – what would Gran make of all this? I think if we’d had the internet when she was alive, she would have embraced it wholeheartedly, especially if it meant she didn’t have to brave the cold nights to get down to the bingo hall during the winter!
But what my grandparents did the rest of the week was a complete mystery to me, apart from the odd occasion when I went round for my tea. Otherwise their lives were lived quietly and innocuously. But that generation experienced so much – they lived through a world war and all its hardships and consequences. How I wish I’d taken the time to ask them more about their own lives, before they became my grandparents. Of course, I never did, and now they’re gone and so the moment has passed.
These days, grandparents are often much more involved in their grandchildren’s lives, and that’s partly a result of us all needing to work longer hours yet have affordable childcare. My parents often do the school pick-up to save me having to pay for a child-minder. I don’t like imposing on them too much, but I’m not unusual amongst my friends in getting my parents to spend a couple of hours a day looking after my two children.
I just hope that my kids value the relationship they’ll have and make the most of the time they get to spend with their grandparents. At the moment, they’re too young to understand all that, but as they get older, I’ll remind them of how important their grandparents are, and how they should make sure to cherish the relationship while it’s there to be had.
this is a guest post