Monday, 20 October 2014


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.


kortney said...

to offer love like that would be a gift indeed!

peace keep you.

gretchen said...

in my experience with three grandsons, children are also excellent at wandering. perhaps you could share your sense of wonder and wandering with them?

Julie B. said...

Ember, you have beautifully said what I hope to impart to my dear grandchildren too. My grandparents never showed me love, had many rebukes and tsk-tsks for me, few touches or hugs, even though I did know they cared about me. I always felt unlovable around them.

Along with the words "I love you," I tell my grands over and over, "I'm so happy about you! Your very life thrills me!" I want them to know they will always and forever have my unconditional love and delight.

I love the picture of you three....I see delight there! xoxo

Rebecca said...

Oh, how I need this!

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) Hello, friends! Waving! xxx

Buzzfloyd said...

Yes! :-)

LANA said...

My four year-old grandson brings me more delight than I can say. I think they help you to recall the wonder of things newly discovered. From what I have read on your blog, you have a wise and wonderful way of looking at things. If you share that with your grandchildren, they will indeed be enriched and blessed.

Pen Wilcock said...



Rapunzel said...

The Manimal and I both have grandchildren. Seven so far between us. His were here the other night and it got me thinking about grandparenting of course,and at how clueless I am at it. I think that's because there's not one way to do it.
I have figured out the best thing my grandparents did for me was not try to be terrific grandparents.
They were just themselves, and generally when we grandkids were around they were just doing what they usually did, and we were welcome to join in or not as we chose.
They were all four good people, yet very different from each other. They weren't trying to conform to some ideal of grandparenthood.
This showed us that there are at least 4 different ways to be a good person. (there are millions really I suppose).
Anyway, that's our approach to grandparenting--we're going with the 'be yourself and let the kids figure it out' method.
It is their parent's job to raise them, we're just here to enjoy them and be glad of them. A much easier job that parenting!
Yours are priceless, Love the picture of the three of you enjoying each other!

Pen Wilcock said...

Amen to that! xx