Grand Parenting and Parenting
Is it called "Grand" because we have learned so much from our mistakes as parents that we finally know that we must take the time to appreciate all that we missed or didn't do the first time around?
Or is it called "Grand" because the task of Parenting was such a blur of responsibility that we simply cannot even recall the Grand Moments?
I am consistently amazed by the discrepancy between these two tasks.
It is like being two people in one body.
"Who the heck are you and what have you done with my real Baby?"
Old habits die hard. I still approach my adult children as if I have some liability for being certain they have the "right" information to make the "best" decisions that will "ensure" their "happiness". And, yes, all of these do come with their own classic set of air quotes.
In each guiding moment, I truly believe that they should define their own happiness. It is NOT for me to determine what that happiness looks like. So, how do I NOT speak up if there is a clear moment in which they are unwittingly jeopardizing the ability to achieve said "happiness"??? How does one choose when to guide and when to just shut up? Is silence a cop out? Or..is it simply giving them the space to fall so that they will learn how to get back up?
In the midst of their daily activities, at the realization of each achievement, or at the grief of "falling short" of what they thought they were supposed to be doing; I am equal parts alarmed and awestruck that these GROWN PEOPLE used to be MY tiny little children.
But, with my Grandson, I relax. I entertain. I LISTEN. I put everything else on hold (and feel extremely guilty if I don't) and it becomes a truly Grand Time Together.
In some ways, I did do a bit of this "everything else on hold" approach for my own children...possibly to their detriment...but, for the most part; I was simply working too hard to see the teachable moments, the graceful moments, the Grand Moments with them. Patience was probably in much shorter supply back then.
Today, in the midst of wishing for warmer weather, more time, more focus, better communication, more fun... I keep getting hit with what a Grand Thing It Is To Be A Parent.
Maybe in the end, that is all that matters.