Don’t make excuses to your grandkids

There is an expression in Spanish that loosely translated says: you cannot block out the sun with one finger (no se puede tapar el sol con un dedo). If anything, it takes one or two hands, especially on a bright sunny day. What it means is that you cannot cover up big problems with small excuses.

Some of us helping to raise our grandkids attempt to cover the sun with one finger. We cover up for parents who don’t show up: they’re at work or stuck in traffic or something important must have come up. We cover up for the lack of phonecalls: maybe the cellphone battery is out. We cover their ears when arguments ensue. We cover up for long absences caused by rehab or prison or even abandonment.

The sun is over 100 times bigger than the earth and it sits 150 million kilometers away. Even that far away, it does what it’s supposed to do: make everything grow. Nothing can grow or live without the sun. Sometimes our problems in raising our grandchildren seem as massive as the sun and parents of your grandchildren a million miles away, emotionally.

Remind your grandkids that that is the very reason you are there: to nurture them, to help them grow, and to give them warmth. Their parents love them, but you are their temporary solar system. You can either block out the sun with your two hands, or use them to give a pat of encouragement, to wipe away a tear, or to embrace with unconditional love.

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