The joy of grandchildren

Grandchildren are so much fun, I wish I’d had them first.

This is a paraphrase but a close approximation of a bumper sticker my sister once spotted, causing her to laugh aloud and nod in agreement. Reminds me of a Road Scholar program Betsy and I attended several years ago. On the first evening, participating seniors gathered following dinner to get acquainted and be briefed on details of the week they would spend together. The presiding official invited each of us to rise in turn and tell the others a little about ourselves.

You may speak about anything you wish, she told us, except for your grandchildren. Bragging about them is off limits. Understanding chuckles filled the room. The urge to boast about the talents and accomplishments of our grandchildren is irresistible.

A photo on social media got me thinking about this today. It shows a woman, holding a glass of wine, her arm lovingly draped over the shoulder of her daughter, who is fondly clasping her mother’s hand. Both are grinning happily. These are the daughter and granddaughter of one of my most cherished friends. Our friendship spans more than 50 years and predates the birth of the mom in this photo.

Our own marriage, now in its 58th year, has been blessed with three daughters, each of whose marriages has brought two children into the world, six grandchildren brightening our lives. One is experiencing life as a university freshman, living in a dorm, trying to balance studies both online and in classrooms during a pandemic.

Like most grandparents, we adore these young people and believe they are exceptional.

My bumper sticker-spotting sister is a grandmother several times over. Next week, she will turn 92. She remains reasonably healthy. Her children live nearby. So do her grandchildren. That’s important. I recently turned 86, and our daughters and their families aren’t very far away. At any distance, they occupy a special place in our hearts.

Seeing our grandchildren grow and take their places in this world as adults ranks among life’s greatest joys. Today, we are told, is Daughters Day. Thanks to you, dearest daughters, for all you bring to our lives, and for your children, our grandchildren.

Our future.

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