Shortly before my first grandchild was born, I went to a funeral for a man I had only known professionally. He was a retired Episcopal priest, so his service was filled with solemn ceremony. Despite all the splendor of the rituals, the memorable moment was when three of his teenaged grandchildren got up to speak about him.
One talked about Grandpa picking her up from middle school every day, and how on Wednesdays they’d go to 7-11 and she could pick out any treat she wanted. Another talked about how Grandpa Al would sometimes stop by their house when he was out for a walk, just to say hello and get a drink of water. Another said he was pretty sure his grandfather had made it to every baseball game and soccer match he’d ever played in. Their love for him cascaded through the stories they told.
This, I knew, was the relationship I wanted with my own grandchildren: One that was based on simply being a regular, dependable part of their lives. One that would have them telling simple, heartfelt stories about me someday. Even when they are teenagers!
It’s not any easy thing to do when your grandchildren live in a different state or you have a rocky relationship with your own children, but those barriers are not insurmountable. If being a grandparent is important to you, find ways to be present in their lives in small ways. I hope that this website will help you to do just that.