I had never heard of the term “it takes a village” until I found myself single and pregnant with my son. Let me tell you, IT. DOES.
First Village :: Maternal Grandparents
My son and I lived with my parents for the first three years of his life. I cannot imagine the difficulty they experienced having their daughter and grandson in their home. It is not a typical or ideal situation as a grandparent, but it was one that they took in strides of selfless sacrifice and love. Now that we are out of their home, I’m sure they feel their grandparent role has shifted into something more special and natural. My son still calls their house his home, because it was the first place he was loved and adored by so many adults.
Second Village :: Paternal Grandparents
While I was pregnant and in the first few years of my sons life, I not only prayed for a husband to love my son as his own, but I prayed for my future family to also treat him as their legitimate grandson, nephew, great grandson, great nephew. Boy, did God answer that prayer! The minute we met my husband’s family, we were immediately and unreservedly a part of their family. No ifs ands or buts about it – they showed us a love that knows no judgements or bounds.
Third Village :: Heavenly Grandparents
While my husband and I were engaged, we received the horrific news that his father was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. We spent every ounce of time possible together as a family and enjoying each other’s company. My four-year-old had a limited amount of time with his new Poppa, but the time spent together were memories that he still recalls a year post Poppa’s passing. He prays every night for his Poppa in Heaven and tells me stories about the fun things they did together when he was alive. Death is a part of life and my overly aware child knows that he still has all the grandparent lovin’ raining down from Heaven! Grandparents will not be around forever, so I believe it is crucial to spend as much time with them as possible. Let them love on your kids, let them spoil them the way they want to, let them show them every ounce of love and affection they have left to give. Your kids may be so hyped on skittles that they cannot sleep when they get home to you, but their experiences with their grandparents will be some of the fondest memories for your children!
I could not ask for anything more for my son, because my memories with my grandparents are so influential to my life and I know it will be to his too. Some of my own most favorite childhood memories with my grandparents were playing dominos, card games, doing arts and crafts, planting flowers, reading books, and of course, eating literally whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. True childhood bliss!
It is important for children to spend time with grandparents doing all of these things and having the freedom to be who they are and to be utterly spoiled. When you’re with Maw Maw and Paw Paw, you know you are loved unconditionally by family who laugh at all your jokes and adore the mess out of you. They are the people you want to call when you make the good grade, get into the College of your dreams, or when you finally nailed that recipe. They are the role models for your children’s future family life. Their love for our children teach us how to live in the moment and love without counting the cost.
You know, maybe this is totally unrelatable to you because your grandparents or your child’s grandparents aren’t so grand … but we of course want to celebrate that village of role models in our lives that are like grandparents and also give our children memories that last a lifetime!