Grandparents Day Gifts

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We celebrated our first Grandparents Day five years ago.

There is a National Puppy Day, National Root Beer Day, and National Banana Split Day. Therefore, it only makes sense there is a special day set aside to celebrate the relationships grandparents have with their grandchildren. Beginning in 1978, when President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation, we have celebrated Grandparents Day in America on the Sunday after Labor Day.

Grandparents Day has never reached the commercial status of Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. It’s less about greeting cards and presents and more about sharing time and sentiment. Although most of us would love to get a drawing or homemade card, Grandparents Day is about taking time to celebrate the magical bond grandparents have with their grandchildren.

Before we had grandchildren, my husband and I talked frequently about our hopes that we’d be grandparents someday. We eagerly anticipated the role, but we had no idea how these grandbabies would completely capture our hearts. There is no way to imagine the depth and intensity of a grandparent’s love until those adorable little babies arrive and take over your world.

My grandchildren give me so many intangible gifts and, stealing from The Little Prince, those are the things that are most essential. By no means an all-inclusive list, here are five of the presents my grandchildren have given me.

1. Love

I was in love from the minute my first grandbaby was in my arms. It’s a love so pure and unconditional. It’s a love unfettered by responsibilities and lack of sleep! Our granddaughter is almost two and a big fan of her granddad. She loves me, but granddad is the superstar. When she walked into our house last week, she started yelling, “Granddad,” as soon as she entered the front door. When he appeared, she ran joyfully and leaped into his arms. That is a gift money can’t buy.

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

2. Humor

I love the funny things kids say and do! Grandkids remind us not to take everything so seriously. They remind us of the lighter side of life and make us laugh. There is no better audience for a child than their grandparents because we think everything they do is adorable, funny, and oh so brilliant!

“My grandchildren are fabulous and funny.” – Erica Jong

3. Curiosity

I have learned much about the world since my grandkids were born. I thought my learning days were over, but then they asked me questions, things I should know, but I don’t. “What is the difference between a squid and an Octopus?” “How many different types of bats are there?” “Why is Mars red?” Google has become my friend as I search to find the answers. I become more curious about the world, spurred by my grandchildren’s questions.

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

4. Adventures

Since I became a grandparent, I’ve explored places I might not have gone if I didn’t have grandchildren. I’ve become a frequent visitor to the Zoo, Tulsa Botanic Garden, the Kiddie Park, Oklahoma Aquarium, Gathering Place, Tulsa Air and Space Museum, and Discovery Lab. I want to give them experiences, but I benefit just as much. Because I have grandchildren, I climb more play equipment, jump on the trampoline more often, and look at creepy insects more often than I would like.

“Grandparents are there to help the child get into mischief they haven’t thought of yet.” — Gene Perret

5. Fresh perspective

Having grandchildren reminds us of the simple joys in life. We are allowed to see life through the eyes of people discovering the world for the first time and finding joy in the little things. A walk in the neighborhood takes twice as long because we stop to look at bugs, flowers, cats, dead worms, etc. Things I would normally pass by without even noticing become items of intense scrutiny. Any living creature gets Sylvia’s praise of “Cute, cute!”

“I’ve always enjoyed seeing the world through the eyes of my grandchildren.” – Neil Sedaka 

This Sunday, September 11, we’ll celebrate Grandparents Day, but we don’t need any gifts. Without even realizing it, our grandkids have given us more than we could have ever imagined, and their very existence in our lives is a gift. All the corny quotes about grandparents and grandchildren are accurate, “Grandchildren make the world a little softer, a little warmer, a little kinder.”

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Categories: Grand Life