Grandparents

Grandparents… Very precious commodity in the lives of their grandchildren.
Not that you always think it…

My two munchkins are lucky enough to have all 4 of theirs in their lives. My in-laws live right next to us, and my own parents are 3 hours away, but still here and actively involved in their grandchildren’s lives.

I never had the pleasure of even meeting my paternal grandparents, they passed away when my Pops was young. He lost his father when Pops was a child himself, and his Mother when he was in Mumbai studying to become a dentist, far away from her in Kenya. But I hear of them as being loving, amazing people, and I wish I had a chance to meet them, just once, to thank them for making my Pops the person he is.

My mum’s parents have also both left us, but at least I met them. But they never lived close to us, always in Kenya, while we were in the UK. My Nanaji, granddad, is a person I remember as such a strong, respected character, well known in his community, a charitable man who always tried to help better the lives of others by paying for the education of his employees children, and encouraging his own to be what they could. He even sent my mum abroad to University in the UK, not a usual thing in the 60’s for a young indian girl, because he believed in equality and gave all his children the same opportunities. He passed away when I was 6, but even from such a young age, my memories of him are etched in my heart. My Nani, grandma, was the sole grandparent I got to know. We had snatched holidays to spend with her, over in Kenya, and she would sporadically come over here to stay with us. She was a funny lady,never saying anything correctly, with all sorts of funny foibles! Telling my cousins, brother and I off when we were together for making too much noise, but them worrying when we were too quiet! OCD about her cutlery, I remember her counting spoons on numerous occasions! Plus she had so much love to give. I was 22 when she died, old enough to really understand what I was losing. All my grandparents, gone. My one consolation was that, though she had not met my Hubby Dearest, she had known about him, and had spoken with him on the phone.

Getting married, I was so happy, and one of the many reasons I was happy was that I would, by default, be getting some grandparents! Hubby Dearest had both his wonderful grandmothers alive at the time we got married. One in India, but one lived here too, so I would get to experience that grandmotherly affection once again!

India Grandma was the loveliest lady, she accepted me into the family with open arms, was forever hugging me when we would go to India to see the family, and was a wise woman, with sage advice to give. It was a blow to lose her 2 years into our marriage. UK grandma was another great character! She never managed to say my name correctly, I was Mitu to her, right until the end! We forged a strong relationship, and I had the pleasure of giving her 2 great-grand kids, whom she doted on! But, again, a few short years ago, just under 3 actually, she also passed away.

Knowing these inspirational people, with so much knowledge, time and stories were no longer with us made me sad, but more determined that our kids should be able to have unlimited access to their own grandparents. It made me look at our parents on a different light.

My in-laws, born and brought up in India, came over here, with minimal education, and worked their fingers to the bone to create a loving, secure home, not only for their kids but for my father in-law’s parents and siblings too. Dad worked 14-16 hour shifts, didn’t see his own children growing up properly, to secure 2 homes for the family. Mum in-law worked in various menial jobs to support her husband too, along with looking after the family. They bring a sense of security to our children. They are spoken to in our mother tongue by my in-laws, to ensure that they still have a good knowledge and respect for their culture. My lovely mother in-law has learned all sorts to keep the kids happy and occupied, always having their favourite programmes recorded for them to watch when we go to them, and even learning how to Loom Band!! Dad in-law always tells me how he loves this time with them, he missed it with his own children. Lil Princess was even born on his birthday, so he shares a special link with her! Me and Hubby Dearest are here to make sure they are good British Citizens, speaking English, and educating them on things they need to know growing up here.

When we can, we go to my parents, where they get a different grandparently experience! It’s like holidays all the time, and yes, they do get a little spoiled, but on the flip side, having English speaking, educated grandparents too, gives them a chance to converse and learn from a different perspective. Plus, they get the Kenya boost from them then too!
Lil Man is an excellent Dhol player, so when he’s with my Pops, they make music and dance around! And, not sure how, but he also shares a birthday with his grandparent… My mum! Lil Princess is always dipping in my mums endless boxes of treasures, finding things to inherit!

The great things with grandmothers, both of them, is they appear to have infinite patience! Where I will get agitated after a short while of ‘help’ from the kids in the kitchen, they can be with them for hours, and put up with the mess created, much to the joy of the kids! And the same with grandfathers… a park outing is mentioned once and they are off. If they say the same to me, I have a list of things to do first!

And if you mention your wishes to these amazing grandparents, somehow they seem to fulfil most of them! ( though I do have to curb that ability sometimes, to stop the kids getting too spoilt!)

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Sometimes, when we’ve had endless after school activities, and I’m shattered, the last thing I want to do is go anywhere, but still, I make sure these kids see their local grandparents almost everyday. These are the folk who, in emergencies, are there for us, when the kids are ill, are able to go see that christmas show that the kids are in, as we, as parents, couldn’t get the time off, are at the end of the phone for any advice.

Ok, so that opportunity is not available for my parents, but we try and ensure contact with them too, everyday. That good night phone call happens without fail every night! And again, precious advice given, words of encouragement, it’s all important!

There’s a quote by someone, “Grandchildren are so much fun, I wish I’d had them first!” Because you, as a grandparent, aren’t fully responsible for the child. You can do the fun stuff, but leave the essential discipline to the parents! Then there’s the quote ” I love my grandkids, I can give them back!” Again, enjoy your time with those precious bundles then refresh yourself until the next time they descend! Parents don’t have that outlook on things. So this is why its so important to have time with those oldies! (Though they’re not always old!)

You see, grandparents ARE a precious commodity, and now mine are gone, I want to make sure my children fully appreciate theirs, and get the love and affection only a grandparent can give.

35 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. rachaelstray
    Jun 07, 2018 @ 16:40:53

    Grandparents are so important. Love this ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. wafflemethis
    Dec 01, 2015 @ 19:44:07

    This is beautifully written Sis. Grandparents are the best☺

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. joey
    Dec 01, 2015 @ 15:46:38

    That’s so nice πŸ™‚
    I appreciate your sharing all that.
    I knew three of my four grandparents very well and much of my childhood included them. I lost them in my early 20’s, which was sad, mostly for my children who were not able to enjoy them. I am glad my children have their grandparents and I hope I’m around a long time for my grandbabies as well πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. lbeth1950
    Dec 01, 2015 @ 13:48:39

    I was lucky enough to have three grandparents. They were wonderful. I hope my grandchildren love me as I did them.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. TanGental
    Dec 01, 2015 @ 01:13:50

    Never knew either grandfather, both died reasonably young because of WW1 injuries but my grandmas lived into their 90s and in their contrasting ways were highly memorable. Very important influences. I suppose with kids in their 20s my turn might be coming…

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. Julz.......artist, blogger, photographer, graphic designer
    Nov 30, 2015 @ 00:56:35

    I Lost my Grandparents in every sense a while ago, unfortunately one mentally, but now all are gone. My Own kids lost one set when they were young. They still have both my parents and now in their 20’s still love them greatly. My Mum spoilt my children rotten and spent so much time with them. I doubt they appreciate it as much as they should and I know they will miss them when they are gone. I remind my children that my parents are now getting old and should spend as much time with them as they can.

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. Erika Kind
    Nov 29, 2015 @ 23:16:15

    I agree, having grand parents is not only wonderful for the kids but also wonderful baby sitters. I was lucky in both ways. I am glad for your kids that you are so aware of that gift, sis. And yes, that picture: “Saw it, got it,…. ” Totally true…. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  8. vanbytheriver
    Nov 29, 2015 @ 21:18:25

    You have such a lovely perspective in this piece, Ritu, and so much respect for older generations. Wonderful example for your own children. πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. akosirima
    Dec 18, 2014 @ 13:08:57

    Grew up with grandparents. Very very precious I would say.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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