Saturday, October 20, 2007

What Loving Grandparents Do.

We've been noticing lately the truly tremendous way grandparents serve as models for loving little rituals that create bonds between the generations. Check this one out, a ritual of Anna's parents and their first (and only -- so far) grandson Jacob:

Every Sunday grandma and grandpa have an "appointment" with their grandson. They call him "the little professor" because he appears to be keeping "office hours" at the dinner table, where he sits in his high chair eating his dinner and chatting adoringly with the webcam his parents have set up nearby. Grandma and grandpa ask questions about his day in sheer delight as they visually (virtually) absorb his smiles, giggles, and wiggles. Jacob, in response, tells stories, asks questions, and often pretends to "feed Papa John," holding his fork up to the camera while grandpa opens wide.

What better way is there for grandparents to hangout with their one (and only) grandchild who lives states away?

Are you a happy grandparent? Do you have rituals of connection with your grandkids? If so, tell us about them!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anna - Dan and I love our two grandchildren, Dan (8) and Sarah (4). I could go on and on and on about how much fun we have. What is most important for us is to be silly, spontaneous and available to them. When they come to our house, there are no electronics for them (they have those at home) - they much prefer taking a hike in our woods, coloring, writing poems and stories, telling stories (this time of year we are telling scary stories), playing with building blocks, blowing bubbles, baking and cooking, even doing chores. I find it fascinating that with all that is available to children, the least expensive activities are the ones they truly enjoy and which exhaust them - they sleep well at our house! We don't have any proscribed rituals per se. What they expect when they get to our house is the unexpected. Always something new to try, like making ice cream, or dessing up from the closet, or a wood project with Grandpop in the basement. We put on music they would not normally be exposed to (opera, zydeco) and dance or sing at the top of our lungs. We've performed plays for Mom and Dad when they come to pick them up. We've made multi-media art. When they are here, they get our full attention. Of course, you will find Grandpop napping while Grandmimi is "on duty" and then vice versa - the minute you are grandparents you realize you are too old to be grandparents!!
Anyway - our rituals, though often repeated, always have a new spin on them, we try to keep them excited and informed and always wanting to come back. They love their sleep-overs and we do, too. Hope all of this helps. Mary and Dan Moriarty