Just when I thought I was too old to fall in love again, I became a grandparent.
I lost my grandparents very early in life and never got the benefit of their wisdom and love as I grew up. One of the few memories I have is of my mother’s mother singing to me: You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray, you’ll never know dear how much I love you—so please don’t take my sunshine away…The song always reminds me of her gentle presence and her unconditional love.
On a trip to New York City, my wife and I visited Central Park and witnessed grandparents strolling through the park with grand-kids (of all ages) engaged in conversations. I thought of how fortunate each generation was to have the other and how influential those precious stolen moments were. The life lessons, the bonds between generations, and the memories formed will have a lifetime impact.
I began to think about legacy and what’s worth sharing with someone who has less life experience? Universally, grandparents want grandchildren to be healthy, happy, and fulfill their unique potentials. This all came to mind again after reading a disturbing trend with grandchildren who are turning to Google instead of traditionally seeking the wise council of grandparents:
Although a bleak survey revealed that many kids now turn to Google for traditionally grandparent-y advice on everything from history to recipes, grandma and grandpa still have plenty to offer their grandchildren.
Another study involving more than 1,500 children found that those with a high level of grandparental involvement displayed fewer emotional and behavior problems.
At this time in life many of my peers are becoming grandparents for the first time; and along with the unlikely pairing of shock (I’m really this old?) and delight (can’t wait to meet the new addition!) comes the responsibility of being a good steward to the younger generations. Google is a tool, but it will never replace the meaningful bond between grandparents and grandchildren.
You’ve been preparing for this role your entire life…Don’t let a search engine steal your thunder…You’re on!