Grandparents get a bad rap in the parenting sphere. From loading kids up on sugar to making unpleasant remarks about their sons- or daughters-in-law, it seems you can’t broach the topic of grandparents without someone sharing a horror story.
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However, not all grandparents are like this, and I know this because both sets of grandparents in my life are helpful, involved, boundary-respecting people—and I could not be more grateful.
This is for the grandparents.
This is for the grandparents who show up when you need them and who do so without guilt or ultimatums. The ones who ask if you need a hand and respect the choices you’ve made for your family.
This is for the grandmas and grandpas who understand that things may have been different when they were raising children, but who realize that your way of parenting is just as valid.
This is for the grandparents who actively learn about new guidance and parenting styles simply for the sake of your children’s safety and your peace of mind.
We couldn’t do this without you.
To these grandparents, we say this: We appreciate you and we know we couldn’t do this without you. We understand that your parenting days are over. You paid your dues when we were babies. Somehow, you suffered through the trenches when we were toddlers and again when we were middle-schoolers.
We remember the knock-down drag out arguments we had with you when we were teenagers.
You saw us through growing pains and the successes that followed us throughout college and into our twenties.
Then, you endured the bittersweet adventure of watching us fly away from you. You accepted your life as an empty-nester, wistful for the past, but ever so hopeful for the future.
You watched us live without you.
Thereafter, you watched as we found new people to love and made new places to call home. As time passed, you saw us on holidays. You watched from a distance as we lived our new lives. Then, at a time when it seemed we could not have been more separate, you watched as we followed your paths and became parents.
With pride and love, you welcomed grandchildren, embracing again the chance to re-live those years you once believed would never end.
You don’t have to do this, but you do.
To these grandparents, we know you don’t have to show up in our lives the way you do. We also know many people are without the same support—the time and the generosity.
We would never take advantage of your presence, and so, we will continue working to let you know how much we value you.
We appreciate that you respect our parenting choices. Even though some of your opinions may differ from ours, you understand that this is our time to pave our way as parents. You know that just as we needed to make choices as children and young adults, we must now do the same as parents.
As each day passes, we look back and we wonder how you did it. We see ourselves understanding you better, and perhaps, maybe even turning into you a little bit. And for the first time in our lives, we don’t resist it.
We see you.
To these wonderful grandparents, we see you. We see you as the parent you were and as the parent you continue to be—and we thank you.