Being a Grandparent

December 1, 2020

The happiest humans I have seen are the Grandparents and people cannot understand the true happiness these older folks derive from this unique relationship. This relationship is unique because it usually results in a limitless free-flow of happiness in both directions. As they say, old folks are like children and its true example is in this relationship where two people, decades apart, are so purely dedicated to each other and matched up in their behavior too. Have you watched a grown-up man/woman acting like a 2-year old with a grandchild? Yes, almost all grandparents talk and act the age of their grandchildren when they are around each other.  Grandparents usually derive happiness knowingly, while a child receives happiness and comfort unknowingly because they don’t know these human concepts yet. For grandchildren, grandparents are a source of enjoyment wrapped in endless love, security, and comfort. 

But why this relationship is like none other? After much thinking, I thought two primary reasons make this relationship so unique – No expectations and no fear. We loved our children but as a parent, we were fearful of so many things as our children were growing up, fearful of them getting sick, fearful of them not studying and going to a good school and profession, fearful of them getting into undesired activities, them getting hurt in some accident and the list goes on and on. As parents, we were also struggling to establish our careers and trying to be financially stable so the attention was on otherworldly duties. We may not admit but as parents, we do have expectations from our children that they will take care of us in case of a need; we do expect that they will get a decent job and support themselves as soon as possible,  marry a man/woman preferably of our choice, make us grandparents, call us every day to check on us, or at least talk to us occasionally…. All these expectations and fears of raising children make the parent-child relationship different from grand-X relationship. 

My logic says that by the time we turn into grandparents, we are generally more mature, experienced, and financially stable, we have seen our children grow up and because of that some or most of our fears are removed, career is no longer at a critical stage of life, and our expectations are still from our children and not from the grandchildren, since they are too young. Over the years of raising our children, our fears have subsided, we become cautious but not fearful. We know what works, what doesn’t when it comes to raising children. We learned the value of pure love, compassion, security, and comfort. As a grandparent, when we see grandchildren they become nothing but a source of happiness; their laughter is pure joy, there is no fear of any kind, there is no expectation, it’s just a limitless love; an open relationship that knows no bounds of happiness and joy. 

And it all comes from knowing that at the end of the day, we will leave grandchildren in the hands of very caring and involved parents that we raised successfully. After experiencing grandparenthood, I have learned that there is no better and purer happiness than seeing the smiling face of a grandchild.

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