Nonna's Favorite Quotes:

Nonna's Favorite Quotes: "The best way to make children good is to make them happy." — Oscar Wilde, author and poet

Friday, January 20, 2012

Grandparent Wars

I found this quote  by Richard L. Evans... "Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them.”  I think some grandparents need to make this their mantra. I'm acquainted with a lot of grandparents that are determined to be their grandchildrens' favorites. They wage this constant war to somehow outdo the other set of grandparents by spending more money.

I grew up knowing only one grandparent and we were very close.  So, after listening to a grandma I know lament about how she didn't have the money to buy her grandkids all the things that her son-in-laws parents could, I decided to write down all the things that came to mind when I thought about my grandmother.

I remembered...

...that I was always welcome at her house. I never had to call before I came. I could always just stop by to say hello. She always greeted me with a smile...and fed me.

 ...sleeping over at her house. In the morning she'd wake me by walking past my room singing "Good morning to you." to the tune of Happy Birthday.

...sitting with her while she cleaned out her dresser drawers. I loved looking at all her scarves and purses and jewelry. She always seemed to find something that she "didn't want" that I could take home with me.

...watching her bake. She made great pies and cookies. She would let me help and would leave just enough in the mixing bowl so I could have a taste of her delicious dough.

...her attending all of my school plays, my dance recitals, and my softball games.

...that she was never mad at me (of course, that's because I was a perfect child.) She let me know when I did something wrong but she was never angry with me.

...that she gave me my first job and patiently tried to make me into a salesperson.

What I don't remember is what she bought me. I know she would buy me Christmas and birthday presents and she would sometimes bring me home clothes and jewelry from the dress shop she managed, but I can't give you specifics. I found out later that she would give my mother money if I needed something special, but I didn't know that at the time.

My grandmother was not about "stuff"...she was about loving me and wanting to be with me. She was about listening to me. She was about being nice to me and my friends when we stopped by. She was about encouraging me to be honest and truthful and respectful. Being with my grandmother was a comfortable place to be. My grandmother was not perfect. In fact she made my mother crazy at times. But as her grandchild, I had no complaints. I sought out her company and I think that says a lot.

My own mother was the same with my children. They enjoyed her company because she enjoyed theirs. She never tried to impress them with "stuff". She was there when they needed a ride somewhere. She was at every school play and ball game. She knew all their friends and favorite movies. When they got in trouble at home they could hide out at her house but only after she talked with them about what they did wrong and reinforced our position at home. She loved them with her whole heart and soul and they knew it. They had other grandparents (and stepgrandparents) but she was truly their favorite. Not because of what she bought them, but because of how she loved them.

Don't engage in the "battle"... be yourself, give of yourself and your time, give your love... and you will be loved.

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