Whatever happened to the good ol’ days, when grandparents actually embraced their roles? When grannies were as warm and plump as their freshly baked cookies and hugged you with an embrace so mighty you knew things would always be okay. When poppa’s were full of tales and legends to be told while perched upon his bouncing knee. There was a strong sense of pride found in the continuance of another generation that just isn’t there anymore. Seriously. Grandparents of today are nothing like they used to be.
When I was a kid, there was still a magical quality about those people we knew to be our parents’ parents. They were mysterious and familiar all at once. I felt loved and wanted when they were around in a way my own loving parents couldn’t fulfill. Having grandparents to dote on me was the best feeling in the world. At the same time, I knew they were no-nonsense people who were to be respected much more than my own folks. My friends would testify that it was all the same way with them, as well. They knew that when it came time see them, it was going to be great.
We were able to just be kids when our grandparents were with us. They put forth an effort to come and see us as often as possible and have us over even more, giving our parents plenty of time for themselves. They played cards with us, teaching us how to play poker to our parents’ dismay, letting us gamble with peanuts and M&M’s. They taught us how to bargain, how to cook, how to fish, how to pray, and how to stand strong in the face of adversity. How to do things better. They even lent a helping hand to their kids outside of occupying their grandbabies; cleaning house, getting the groceries, and doing household repairs. Grandparents welcomed their roles as head of the family.
Then my generation went and started having kids.
It was after I had become a mother for the second time that I began to see how much time had changed things. At first, I thought maybe it was just me. My parents and I had never been particularly close. Then I began looking at my friends’ families and saw the same thing I was experiencing within my own extended family. The old-fashioned values beheld by the role of grandparent had ceased to exist. This generation of grandparents have left behind the butter soft appearance of older age in turn for the look of chasing youthfulness. In doing so, they have let go of the traditional roles grandparents once played. They no longer offer their unconditional services to their children, no longer find purpose in rearing the next generation of the family tree. Where they once could be found donning an apron or coveralls, they can now be found dressed to impress out on the town or the golf course.
The sense of responsibility for the continuance of an upstanding reputation carrying on the family name seems not to matter any longer. The elders of the family are using their retirement solely for personal gain. Everything else- extended family included- are after thoughts. I realized I was lucky my parents would even return my call and talk to their grandbabies for a moment. They had no desire to bake goodies with their namesakes, teach them how to run game with a smirkless face, or keep them overnight. They do not want to spend any more time being responsible for anything but fun. Unlike their parents before them, they seem to have had enough of giving up their time for everyone else. This generation of grandparents do not find the role of grandparent fulfilling or satisfying.
What they don’t seem to take into consideration is how much the kids are losing out on. While they are off gallivanting around as if they are twenty-one again, their grandkids are at home absorbing the culture that says they need to act that age, long before they are grown. Mom and Dad are left scrambling to balance everything on their own without the wisdom of someone who’s been down the same road to step in and show them the way. Marriages are struggling harder than ever with the lack of experienced guidance stepping in for support and giving them an opportunity to get away every now and again. The unity and loyalty of the family unit is fading fast. Children need their grandparents.
***Today’s post was a writing challenge*** This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.
Your words are:
seriously ~ groceries ~ butter ~ better ~ call ~ return
They were submitted by: Baking In A Tornado
Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts: