Isn’t being a grandparent awesome! During the work week, I fill the role of financial advisor & financial planner here in Tucson, AZ for the families that we work with. I love how I get to help people with their wealth management, financial planning, and investment decisions. I also love being a grandparent. Today, I thought I’d take a break from our usual financial-type blog post, and talk about the four best things I love about being a grandparent.
#1. I get to be called “Papa”
One of the best things that has happened so far is my son David decided he didn’t want to be called Papa. So I got to be called Papa and it became my favorite word. When I hear the kids come in the door, and they yell Papa, it’s just one of the greatest sounds I love to hear. I know my grandchildren are excited to see me when I hear them shouting for Papa.
The only thing that comes close or might even be a little bit better is now that they’re a little bit older, they’re starting to shorten words. So instead of Dada and Mama, it’s Dad and Mom. One day, they started calling me Pop. The way they say it is hilarious. Their faces light up and they smile like they are making a joke, because it’s just one of the most fun things in the world, just being with their Pop.
#2. I get to see true joy
Another thing that is really great about being Papa is that I get to witness the children’s joy, in almost anything they do. Everything is exciting and new to them and you just watch them soak in new information or a new book. For them, joy comes in the form of a little flower they notice.
One day, I had my granddaughter Liv on a play-day and we had to run an errand. I thought she might be intrigued by the big factory. They were doing construction there and they had all these big tractors out. It was all exciting to her. But, for me, it was just amazing to see the joy and excitement in her face. It is so fulfilling.
#3. I now know the difference between being Dad and being Papa
I believe that my sense of time is different as a grandparent. I’ve talked to other grandparents about this, and it seems to be universal. A friend of mine has a granddaughter about the same age as my granddaughter. We were discussing one day just what is the difference between being a grandparent and being a parent. We agreed that perhaps because we don’t have to care for our grandchildren 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that our perspective is different. It is a different perspective because we have been through the process before. Grandparents have had small kids, and raised them to adulthood. I have been fortunate enough to have seen it before, and now I have an idea of what is coming next.
Parents have to learn as they go. It is easy to see the day with series of things we have to do. As a grandparent, however, I have realized how precious time is. I think that any time a grandparent sees their grandchildren, be it once a year, or every single day, if their kids don’t live close to them, that time is very special. Being Papa means that all the time I get to spend with them is just precious to me. It could be five or ten minutes, and it wouldn’t matter at all. The best time I can spend is seeing them, talking to them, having them sit on my lap to read them a book, or whatever it may be.
#4. I am witness to the whole cycle of life
While I can go on and on about the good things about being a grandparent, one of the last things that is really cool is to get to see the whole cycle of life and really what I see as our purpose. I raised my kids and brought them up in a way that I thought would be good for them in the long run. To have the opportunity to see my children do the same thing with their kids and to see the whole cycle of life play out in front of me is really, really interesting.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible, found in Proverbs, says: A wise man leaves an inheritance for his grandchildren. My understanding of it isn’t that you bypass your kids with money when you die. It’s to really leave an inheritance or legacy for our grandchildren. We have to invest time, energy, values, and good lessons in our children. Then they continue the cycle by investing in their children. Hopefully, our children will pass on the values that they found to be important for them, ultimately all the good things we wanted to teach them.
I am also around to be another elder statesman, if you will, to do the same thing for my grandchildren that I was able to do for my children. God willing, I will be around long enough to have an impact for my great-grandchildren too. I think that would be really cool.
I could go on and on about being a grandparent, but I’ll just leave it at what I think are the four best things about being a grandparent. I have had so many awesome experiences being a grandparent to Olivia and Jack so far. Hopefully there will be more.
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