I have been thinking a bit about what I can contribute to the lives of my grandchildren. So far, I am not a very useful grandmother. I find children very alarming – they are so uninhibited and concentrated. And by heck, do they move fast! Wild. I am more the sitting still and thinking type.
But it came to me as I considered it, that I might have hold of the wrong end of the stick in my ideas of what being a grandparent should be. Born to a pragmatic mother who in turn descended from a whole dynasty of hard-headed Yorkshire pragmatists, I am accustomed to defining life in terms of output, result and usefulness. Work. By which standards I am a perennial disappointment in any sphere. Wandering off has been my primary skill. Bewilderment is my habitual state.
Maybe, though, there is another route through this thing (life). Perhaps what I could offer, and what indeed might be of most value to my grandchildren and their parents, is simply to delight in them. To be on their side. Unconditional positive regard. Unconditional love.