The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy. – Sam Levenson
I do not have children; however, this quote struck me as highly amusing since I am now an adult and can see the perspective of parenting from a broader view. As one who was fortunate enough to be able to spend a LOT of time with both my paternal and maternal grandmothers, I have a supreme appreciation for the knowledge, love and wisdom they imparted.
As for that “common enemy”, I think it’s so well (humorously of course) phrased…grand children are such a fantastic and fun way for grandparents to get a small bit of sweet revenge on their own children. They get to sit in the corner and smugly think “I told you so” when they see the same scenarios play out for their children, with their grandchildren.
Grandparents (at least my grandmothers) were just that…formidable, mysterious and grand women who were a set of second parents. I remember always having such a sense of awe around them. How I could always feel such love from them, but also turn around and KNOW I was in for it because I did something I shouldn’t have. My grandmothers were equal parts cheerleader and headmistress. They taught me to respect my elders, including my parents, but were always that safe harbor I could run to when life got hard or I felt my parents had been unjust.
I could never begin to encompass in one blog post the lessons I learned, but I see the spirit of my grandmothers sprinkled throughout my every day. Random music or television shows will remind me of evenings at their house playing dress up and dancing. Cooking (or baking) certain things will always take me back to their kitchen and dining table. A soft blanket reminds me of being tucked in on the old couch after half days of school, when I wasn’t well or just needed a nap. The faint smell of dirt/dust and cigarette smoke will remind me of car rides in a beat up, blue, Bronco as I was shuttled to swim lessons or school. Sitting down to do cross stitch projects remind me of the hours of my youth spent learning from a woman who apparently had endless patience. Fossils and flowers, both remind me of time spent hunting for specimens in gardens and prairie lands, in denim overalls and childish hats. The smell of fresh cut grass reminds me of cutting their lawns in the summertime and then enjoying dinner with them afterward as my reward (and maybe sometimes a nice $10.00 bill as well!).
I have more than fond nostalgia for my grandmothers, but truly, reverence and immense love that I cannot even hope to adequately describe. I wish that for everyone, that they feel that sort of eternal love from another, without expectation or bounds.