Living for the Kids?

Before I had grandchildren, it was hard to imagine how attached I would become to the little darlings (same for my kids actually). I liked other people’s kids and grandkids, but I could take them or leave them. Now that I have them, I can totally relate to “living for the kids”–grandkids, that is.

For me, the grandkids, both in their presence and their absence, remind me of my own children and parenting days–in their presence, of the joys of parenting without the headaches; in their absence, of the concern and longing for continued connection.

I believe that when you are actively parenting, your overwhelming concern is for survival in the dailyness of the task. I can see that in my own offspring raising theirs. I think it’s hard for them to imagine my continued joy and longing.

Every grandparent reading this knows what I am talking about; the parents hardly have a clue. I certainly didn’t when I was raising my children. My mother would say, “When are you coming to visit?” and I would reply, “I don’t know.” We lived 60 miles away, so we got there every other month or so, and she had grandchildren in the town where she lived. Still, I now understand her question with a feeling I didn’t have back then.

I know some of you are saying, “Yes, but I see my grandchildren every day. I babysit them,” and similar statements, including, “I’m raising them”. Consider yourself blessed. Although I would not welcome either of these tasks now, I long for a deeper connection with those precious young ones.

Whether you are living with or for the grandchildren, you are blessed to have them and to be in their lives for whatever amount of time you can claim.

There’s a greater truth I’d like to point out, however. Don’t just live for the kids or the grandkids or try to live through them vicariously. And don’t sit around pining and complaining that you don’t see them enough.

Rather, do something you believe in. Re-invent yourself. Leave a legacy for them to remember and know you by. I’m not talking about money or material things, although those certainly are legacies for our descendants. I’m talking about your life and how you live it. Maybe you are willing to write an article about your experiences, so they can come to know you through your writing.

Is there someone who could use a friend or who needs a babysitter? Communities are very welcoming to volunteers with time on their hands and love to give. Wouldn’t that be a better choice than living for the kids?

Never Too Late To Bloom

Never Too Late To Bloom