I have no doubt in my mind that my kids have the best grandparents in the world. Go ahead, challenge me. I dare you.
Now that truth has been established, I can begin to properly brag.
While my parents and Josh’s parents have extremely different grandparenting styles, both are equally loved, needed, and effective.
My parents have a laid–back mellow vibe, preferring music, conversation, arts and crafts, and theological foundation–laying. I value their contributions to our kids’ growth. I can count on them to be both engaging and effective in their interactions with our kids. In a way I feel their time spent together is a kind of training. Not to say my parents aren’t fun because they most definitely are. We all had a blast together in Tahoe in July and Gaga gives one heck of a “horsey ride” (Gaga being the horsey as Squeaks spurs her on). And just like her book-lovin’ mamma, Squeaks can count on Gaga to read endless numbers of stories. I think though my parents would describe themselves as more future-focused. I love that they encourage character–building. They help me focus on my children as more than tiny humans, but as contributing members of our society. The day my mom, Squeaks, and I can sit and discuss C.S. Lewis or textual criticism will be a happy one. With the way Squeaks soaks up information I doubt it will be too long.
My in-laws have an embrace-the-moment, Disneylandesque vibe to their grandparenting style. They fill my kids’ childhood with play and adventure. I can count on them for random trips to the store where handfuls of books and knickknacks are purchased because they were at Squeaks’ eye level. They are unfailingly generous and supportive. They keep our wishes at heart (no sugar, as little TV as possible, manners always necessary) and are still able to make “Nana and Papa’s house” a magical place. Because I am my parents’ child, the “play and pretend” style of my in-laws reminds me to play and pretend too. A necessity. This is not to say my in-laws are all fun and no structure. I know they will never steer my children down the wrong path. Prayers are said, Bible stories are read, and the blessing of wisdom is imparted. When all is said and done, it’s an awesome thing to watch a grown woman in her fifties lay on the living room floor and make faces with my eleven-month old or silly sounds with my two year old.
Very different styles, both absolutely needed. They are two halves to our grandparenting whole. Valued and loved. I have no doubt in my mind that any one of them would do anything for our kids. ANYTHING! We are blessed.
|Squeaks held by Papa, Nana, Nana Sue (great-grandma), Little Dude held by Gaga, and Grampy|