A Box Full of Grandparent Love

 And these are some random old people, unrelated to either of us. They don't look happy.

          Happy Tuesday everyone! As we all get settled into our routines with the kids being back in school, we can start to see our hectic schedules for the next few months. Before we know it, we will be getting costumes together, eating Thanksgiving with the family and sticking a tree in the middle of our living rooms. But before all this good stuff, we need to take the time to love and honor some people that play such a large role in the family. The Grandparents!

          Lee says: September 13th is National Grandparents Day! For me, grandparents aren’t a big deal. Actually, to be more accurate, grandparents have always been an utter disappointment. We never had the stereotypical grandparent that would shower you with gifts or cave into every whim we had. Our grandparents tended to be more the type of people who would compare us to our cousins or who would change the subject when we told them of our accomplishments.

          Example: “Hey Abuela (remember, I’m Cuban and this conversation actually took place in Spanish.), I just got my Master’s Degree!” Abuela (Grandma): “Oh, did you know that your cousin can legally drive now?” Do you understand me yet?

          I know cognitively that a grandparent holds a very important role in a child’s life. Metaphorically, the grandparent is a haven, a shelter from the constant parameters and limitations of parents. Within the family, the grandparents are the historians and connection from one generation to the other. They show a child what a family really is. They set the context for the unity of the clan; whether the family will be united, divided and how a family deal with their problems.

          That’s a big responsibility. In the case of my kids, they are very blessed to have two sets of wonderful grandparents. Both sides dote on them and think they are the best thing in the universe. My parents, or Abui and Mamuchi (I told you I’m Cuban), care for my kids every now and then and when they don’t you will find them visiting and calling. Paul’s parents live over 1800 miles away and see them infrequently, however, they have made there presence known to them. Grandma and Grandpa speak to them on the phone, remember them with cards sent by mail to each of them and the kids favorite, holiday treats. Even Jeannie at the age of 16 gets excited when they receive a box from Grandma and Grandpa.

          No they don’t send them Ipods and video games. They send them little stuff like homemade cookies or some seasonal cereal or candy. The thought and sentiment of these gifts are understood by my children even though they are young. It is obvious that these are things they pick up over time, whenever they are in a store. They’ll see something interesting and think of Ricky or Bobby or Jeannie and put it aside for one of their care packages. From Peeps to Frankenberry cereal, the box is loaded with heartfelt sugary goodness.

          This year, we will begin the tradition of honoring these very special people in our lives. Our kids are recording for them a National Grandparent Day greeting on http://www.grandparents.com/gp/yourvoice/getstarted1/index.html?navbar=menu-activities. Just a phone call and message and every grandparent can know they are loved and appreciated. They will be able to click on it as many times as they want to hear their grandchildren send them love or tell them about loosing a tooth, again. What do you think a grandparent would rather have? An ugly sweater or the voice of their grandbaby saying I love you.

          Paul says: If you asked my grandparents, they would have said that the sun rose and set on my ass. There was never any doubt that my grandparents, especially my grandmother, adored me in that fanatical ‘the tail just makes him all the more special’ kind of way. The fact that my children have that from every direction just lets me know how truly blessed we are.


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