Confluence Chronicles – Where City & County Meet 5-17-10
On the heels of Mother’s Day it seems fitting to pay tribute to a growing segment of our population, that of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. Just when the grandparents are thinking of slowing down, maybe traveling or even retiring, circumstances come up that necessitate one or more grandchildren being taken in, loved and reared. Those whom I know that are doing this are selfless. They raised their own children, gave them the best of their years, yet for various reasons, these adult children are unable to care for their offspring.
Grandparents love their families and want what is best for them. Whenever possible, grandparents step up when they should be winding down.
While you and I may not be called upon to raise our grandkids, we can actively support those who do. Remember when you had young children and how much a day away meant to you. We hear of respite being needed by adults caring for elderly or ill family members. It stands to reason that respite for the suddenly parenting grandparent is also in order. Now think of these grandparents who are parenting again, in what ways could you help?
Adults like to converse with adults, kids with kids and inviting them for an afternoon would be a pleasant way for all to become better acquainted. If the children are from the city and come to the farm, the entertainment will take care of itself with the kitties, dogs and various and sundry activities readily available. For a country kid used to battling washboards and stickers while trying to ride a bike, an afternoon riding on pavement in the park would be welcome. You could offer to take a friend’s grandchild with you on an outing, especially if your own children are somewhat near the same age and have common interests. Even baking cookies can be both a treat and a learning experience.
When I keep my grandkids they go home at night but this summer some of them will be with me several days a week. Usually we just play while they are here, but I will have to do my work and errands with their “help” throughout the summer. Thinking about that has pushed me to start considering what we will do and how we can include other children in our plans.
We’ll make bracelets and necklaces from pine needles and dolls with full crinolines from hollyhocks. We’ve talked about making mud pies and identifying birds. There will be the inevitable salamanders and ants to observe, kittens to dress in doll clothes and soap bubbles to blow. The Internet is filled with craft projects simple enough even for me to do.
I know of one grandma and grandgirl from church who will be part of our summer activities and we are all looking forward to the fun.
Peggy welcomes comments and ideas at her e-mail address, Peggy@PeggySanders.com.