The next generation | TheFencePost.com

The next generation

I am reveling in having grandkids who are big enough to be major assets to the farm and ranch.

Being a grandparent makes one really glad that God gives babies to young people and grandkids to older ones. Now many of the jobs I used to do to help my farmer with are accomplished by the grands. I am still the chief cook and bottle washer (it’s calving season and we sometimes need to use bottles.) My grandkids are generally not so talkative but I can always count on one question when they come in from outside, “Grandma, what’s for dinner?”

The old adage, “We should have had the grandchildren first,” is impossible to do, yet it is true. And here is why. When your own children are growing up and doing fun (or naughty) things, you are so busy with life, you don’t really have time to do anything other than react at the moment. Yes, you enjoy the clever sayings or amusing antics, then it is back to folding laundry or cooking dinner.

After grandchildren go home for the evening, you can revel in the day’s events. When you don’t see a child every single day, it may be easier to see the development that seems to happen in leaps and bounds, and therefore is more noticeable. Like every other grandma in the world, my grandchildren are B&B — brilliant and beautiful. We joke about that and I imagine every granddad also feels the same way. Yet it all boils down to grandparents having (or being able to take) more time to spend with the grandchild and maximizing on the opportunity. It doesn’t have to mean spoiling with material things, but with attention and mindfulness, and that is a good kind of spoiling.

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“A friend of mine asked me for advice on being a new grandparent. All I could tell her was to enjoy it and to hang onto her hat as she’ll be in for the ride of her life — a lifetime that will seem like only 8 seconds.”

For a harried and tired mother, offering to keep a grandchild for a few hours can be a boost to the mother’s morale. That could allow the mother to do anything she wants for a few hours — read a book, take nap or do chores — in peace and quiet. Moms remember how much they enjoyed their little ones but if you asked grandmothers what they most remembered about being mothers they often reply, “I was exhausted.” That is not a negative comment on being a mother, just a factual one.

Then there are the words. When a child watches her dad shave with an electric razor and asks, “Daddy, why are you erasing your whiskers?” We think it’s brilliant for her to come up with that analogy. Or when a child keeps saying, “Grandma, you have a pretty butt,” and everyone is wondering where in the world she learned THAT, someone realizes that “butt” is the child’s word for button. Whew!

A friend of mine asked me for advice on being a new grandparent. All I could tell her was to enjoy it and to hang onto her hat as she’ll be in for the ride of her life — a lifetime that will seem like only 8 seconds. ❖


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