Today I want to recognize grandparents. They're out pushing their grandchildren in strollers. The grandparents I see are totally attentive and enthralled with their grandbabies. They’re speaking to them—often in their native tongue. They’re pointing out things in the neighborhood, like trees, flowers, dogs, birds, cats. They’re communicating with their grandchildren, building relationships, and cementing bonds. I even saw one grandfather carrying his grandson around the yard, wanting that close contact—even better than pushing a stroller. It’s a beautiful thing to see. I was like that with my Katy. I carried her around in an "over-the-shoulder" baby sling until she was walking. And she didn't walk for a long time--she didn't need to!
As much as I appreciate grandparents these days, I have critical words for some of the younger modern parents I see. You know the ones. They’re pushing strollers, too, but they’re focused on their smart phones. They’re letting their children enjoy fresh air, being in the great outdoors, but their parents aren’t “present” there with them. The parents are in their own virtual world. Maybe they’re on Youtube, Instagram, reading email, or catching up with friends on Facebook—probably telling them they’re taking their kids out in strollers. In their need to stay connected with their friends or work, they’re letting precious never-to-be had-again moments slip by. They’re losing bonding, sharing, and teaching time with their children.
I’m not a “true” grandparent yet, but I am a foster grandparent and a step grandparent. I’m hoping to wait at least a decade to become a real grandparent. My girl is nineteen and in college. So waiting ten years or more is just fine with me. I can wait to spoil my future grandchild. But I love to see other grandparents happily reveling in their grandparent role. Doting grandparents are children’s book authors’ favorite customers—because they buy books for their grandchildren and they read to them. Please join me in praise and appreciation for grandparents.
Tags: Grandparents, grandma, grandpa, grandchildren, toddlers, babies, infants, children, virtual, Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, email, reading, books, praise, appreciation