The perfection of our imperfect grandchildren
BY CHERYL HARBOUR
I continue to try to really understand what it is about having grandchildren that kidnaps our hearts. My latest insight is that we have a chance to see a work in progress without judging it, grading it, editing it, revising it, or blaming it.
Our infant grandchildren cry at inconvenient times, keep their parents awake and make them crabby, drool, dribble, and make all sorts of messes — and we forgive them.
Our toddlers get bumps and bruises, spill paint on our kitchen table, get loud in restaurants, want burgers for every meal, and sometimes run their bikes into our ankles. And we love them absolutely anyway.
Seeing a little child run and fall – as they often do — and pop back up and say “I’m ok” gets me every time.
I don’t know about you, but I think the world has a lot of problems – mostly caused by someone not doing their job right or taking advantage of someone else or ignoring the lines of parking spaces or maybe even just not agreeing with me.
So the innocence of a small child is such a relief. They don’t cause the big problems and they don’t get hung up on the little things. They don’t care if their hair is messed up or there’s something unidentifiable hanging from their nose. Seeing a little child run and fall – as they often do — and pop back up and say “I’m ok” gets me every time. They understand that the knocks of life are just part of the deal.
I can’t vouch for teenage grandchildren – my grandson isn’t there yet – but young grandchildren don’t judge us either. They don’t roll their eyes at something we say or think our outfit looks awful or give their unsolicited criticism of something we just spent a lot of time on. They may be a little self-centered but they are open and trusting and ready for the next moment of joy. And that is perfect.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – CHERYL HARBOUR
Cheryl Harbour is the special editor of our “My GRANDbaby” section and author of Good to Be Grand: making the Most of your Grandchild’s First Year, a combination of up-to-date information and grandparently inspiration.