One thing about grandparents: they can be a court of last resort in fights between the child’s parents. Not to settle any “discussions,” rather to form stable base, someone who’s always there, or at least accessible. Today’s parents are under tremendous strain from work, and pressures to be beautiful, fit, supermom, super dad – everything impossible to fulfill. Young parents try to do everything, and so, of course, there are other things at which they fail. Getting along, providing a model of team-work in front of their kids may be one of these things.
September 8th will be grandparents day; time to recognize not only the practical help the grandparents provide – some of them acting as surrogate parents, but also the psychological support brought through historical stories. “I remember when your dad was a little boy,” reminds the kid that his Dad was once just like him. Stories provide a sense of ongoing history endorsing the genetic connection.
My own grandparents rescued me at the outset of war, when my mother undertook to learn to be a nurse and my dad was safe in America, out of the picture. To this day there’s a debt of gratitude I pay to my grandparents, especially in my new cozy mystery, “The Domino Deaths.” The protagonist, a retired police surgeon, plays a riff on the good Samaritan, my grandfather.
So what about the grandparents in your family? Are they pulled out at Christmas and Thanksgiving as a celebratory Christmas tree or turkey decoration? Or do they form a part of your child’s life, contributing to historical backgrounds and juicy stories?
Now I am a grandparent, I take the role seriously, although, as always, from a distance. Electronics has narrowed that distance immeasurably, nevertheless occasional face-time is required. Thankfully. How about you?