Published on October 30th, 2017 | by Ann Rickard0
I really have no idea how it happens and I am not about to question it. But happen it does and I’m grateful: bonding with grandchildren.
I have seven of the little darlings and I love every one of them equally with all my heart. Two of them I have seen only three times since their births four and two years ago (due to distance, not for want) but I feel the same close bond with them as I do with the others who I see often.
“I could spend hours reading bedtime stories to them, never tiring, always engaged with them, even though I recall it more of a chore when I was raising my own children.”
Bonding is one of life’s instincts, an everyday miracle not given much thought to unless it doesn’t happen naturally and that is very unfortunate, not something to dwell on.
This all comes to mind as someone who has recently become a grandmother for the first time, two grandchildren months apart, told me how she felt an instant bond with the babies even though they are tiny and speechless now and she has not even settled on her grandmother name yet. (Like me, she’s not big on Gran, or Nan.)
Grandparenting is truly marvellous. I reckon it beats parenting hands down – and not because the old cliché says, ‘you can hand them back’.
It is quite inexplicable bliss to be with grandchildren. I honestly can’t say what or why it is so. All I know is when my six-year-old grandson asks me to play toy cars with him, I immediately forget whatever I’m doing and say “yes, of course my darling.” I do not find it boring to line up 27 toy cars and make vroom noises for several hours.
When my four-year-old granddaughter says, “will you write a letter to the Good Fairy for me” I immediately stop my own writing (of this esteemed column) and sit with her, penning a thoughtful and polite letter on special fairy paper complete with sparkles and stickers, asking the Good Fairy to pop in overnight and leave a return letter. It’s a joy. As is writing the return letter on the Good Fairy’s behalf because she is far too busy herself spreading fairy dust all about the place.
No matter what they do my grandchildren, unlike my own children, never anger or displease me even though they are as spirited, naughty and mischievous as their mothers and father were. Isn’t that just marvellous?
I could spend hours reading bedtime stories to them, never tiring, always engaged with them, even though I recall it more of a chore when I was raising my own children. I recall it had something to do with rushing through it so I could get back to the telly to watch J.R. Ewing being manipulative in Dallas. It was the early 80s and J.R. Ewing took precedence.
Here’s something else I cannot explain and I am not about to question. The grandchildren have bonded equally with me. For some extraordinary reason unknown to them or me, they love me as much as I love them. I know this is so because they tell me, often. Even the two who I have seen only three times in four years feel the bond.
And here is another thing I am about to reveal to all women who feel concern about ageing and the extra kilos that come with it. As much as I hate my midriff now and loathe the jiggly spare tyre that wasn’t there a decade ago, and as much as I despise the old squishy boobs, there is no denying these unattractive body bits make the most comfortable cushions for the grandchildren to nestle into.
See, life and its different stages, even the dreaded ageing chapter, really is extraordinary and fascinating and full of wonder and joy if you let it be. Read more of Ann’s musings at www.annrickard.com