Sunday, June 10, 2007

For the Love of Grandparents

For a few weeks now I’ve been thinking about writing about the wondrous gift of grandparents in my children’s lives. I’m very envious of a few friends who still have live grandparents themselves, and their children are lucky enough to have great-grandparents. My grandparents died long ago—my paternal grandma was the last one, and fortunately she came to know and love Mike for several years before she died. She was able to come to our wedding, although later in her life when she started to lose her memory, she accused me of not inviting her!

I have precious memories of my maternal grandparents, even though they both died before I was 10. My grandma used to sprinkle filberts on her casseroles and had a huge, beautiful garden. She used to dry flowers and make greeting cards with them. My grandpa was quite a joker. He had a cow he called “Bossy,” and I remember eating pears from a tree on their expansive property.

Somehow, it seemed that my grandparents were much, much older than our own parents are as grandparents. I’m not sure why that is, but perhaps they are more hip!

Kieran with Grandma wearing the apron he made for Mother's Day

Chris, Kieran, and Nicholas all adore their doting grandparents…my parents here in Oregon, and their “Grandma England” across the ocean. We feel incredibly fortunate that they are such a special part of their lives. It is such an inexplicable blessing for our children to have so many people who love them unconditionally and playfully, in spite of their foibles. They see the best in our children, and are often better than we are at praising them and encouraging their independence.

Doing tricks with Grandpa in the backyard

So as I was thinking this afternoon about writing this blog entry, I called my mom and put Nicholas on the phone with her. Just an hour later, I found this wonderful quote:

“Grandmothers are the people who take delight in hearing babies breathing into the telephone.”-- Unknown

Grandma England with Baby Nicholas

And here are some other great quotes about the gift of grandparents. Enjoy!

“Grandparents, like heroes, are as necessary to a child’s growth as vitamins.”-- Joyce Allston
“A grandmother pretends she doesn’t know who you are on Halloween.”-- Erma Bombeck

“Becoming a grandmother is wonderful. One moment you’re just a mother. The next you are all-wise and prehistoric. “-- Pam Brown

“If you want to know where I come by the passionate commitment I have to bringing people together without regard to race, it all started with my grandfather.”-- Bill Clinton

“I’m going to be your grandpa!/I have the biggest smile./I’ve been waiting to meet you for such a long, long while.”-- Billy Crystal

Waiting for Nicholas to be born

“Just about the time a woman thinks her work is done, she becomes a grandmother.”-- Edward H. Dreschnack

“Being grandparents sufficiently removes us from the responsibilities so that we can be friends.”-- Allan Frome

“Our grandchildren accept us for ourselves, without rebuke or effort to change us, as no one in our entire lives has ever done, not our parents, siblings, spouses, friends - and hardly ever our own grown children.”-- Ruth Goode

“Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.”-- Alex Haley

“If you want to civilize a man, begin with his grandmother.”-- Victor Hugo

“It’s funny what happens when you become a grandparent. You start to act all goofy and do things you never thought you’d do. It’s terrific. “-- Mike Krzyzewski

“Few things are more delightful than grandchildren fighting over your lap.”-- Doug Larson

“If I would have known that grandchildren were going to be so much fun I would have had them first”-- Bill Laurin

“The simplest toy, one which even the youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent.”-- Sam Levenson

Dancing with the twins at a family wedding

“My grandfather was a wonderful role model. Through him I got to know the gentle side of men.”-- Sarah Long

“The closest friends I have made all through life have been people who also grew up close to a loved and living grandmother or grandfather. “-- Margaret Mead

“It is as grandmothers that our mothers come into the fullness of their grace. When a man’s mother holds his child in her gladden arms he is aware of the roundness of life’s cycle, of the mystic harmony of life’s ways.”-- Christopher Morley

“Every generation revolts against its fathers and makes friends with its grandfathers.”-- Lewis Mumford

“Surely, two of the most satisfying experiences in life must be those of being a grandchild or a grandparent.”-- Donald A. Norberg

Taking a nap at the beach with Chris

“Truth be told, being a grandma is as close we ever get to perfection. The ultimate warm sticky bun with plump raisins and nuts. Clouds nine, ten, and eleven.”-- Bryna Nelson Paston

“The birth of a grandchild is a wonderful and exciting event! That wonder and excitement continues throughout life. “-- Tom Potts

“One of life’s greatest mysteries is how the boy who wasn’t good enough to marry your daughter can be the father of the smartest grandchild in the world.”-- Jewish Proverb

“Perfect love sometimes does not come till the first grandchild.”-- Welsh Proverb

“Have children while your parents are still young enough to take care of hem.”-- Rita Rudner

“Grandma and Grandpa, tell me a story and snuggle me with your love. When I’m in your arms, the world seems small and we’re blessed by the heavens above.”-- Laura Spiess

“I loved their home. Everything smelled older, worn but safe; the food aroma had baked itself into the furniture. “-- Susan Strasberg

“It’s one of nature’s way that we often feel closer to distant generations than to the generation immediately preceding us.”-- Igor Stravinsky

“No cowboy was ever faster on the draw than a grandparent pulling a baby picture out of a wallet.”-- Unknown

“A grandparent is old on the outside but young on the inside.”-- Unknown

“A grandmother is a babysitter who watches the kids instead of the television.”-- Unknown
“Grandmas are moms with lots of frosting.”-- Unknown
“Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while... but our hearts forever.”-- Unknown

“Grandmothers are good at sitting on the floor to play, but they can be terribly difficult to get upright again.”-- Unknown

“Grandmas outlast tyrants. That’s why the world survives.” -- Unknown

“Grandmas never run out of hugs or cookies.”-- Unknown

“Grandmother - a wonderful mother with lots of practice.”-- Unknown

“Grandmothers are just “antique” little girls.”-- Unknown

“Never have children, only grandchildren.”-- Gore Vidal

“Grandchildren are God’s way of compensating us for growing old.”-- Mary H. Waldrip

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post, Marie! My husband and grandmother love to share jokes...naturally, she thinks hers are funnier. They both love to repeat this one:

    "The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy."
    Sam Levenson

    (the same man who brought us the timeless quote, "Insanity is hereditary - you get it from your kids")