The Importance of Grandparents

Posted: 8 years ago | By: Christine Somers | In: Life Management | Read Time: 2 minutes, 37 seconds

Yesterday, Joe announced a Biden run for President of the United States was a no go. I was relieved to hear of his decision. It was the right choice for the Biden family and Joe understands that. Joe lost a child when his oldest son, Beau Biden, died of brain cancer this past May and my heart breaks for him. The whole family is in the beginning stages of grief that will take months, maybe even years to work through. As a mother, I have not personally experienced that kind of loss and I can't begin to know his pain. As grandmother though I have watched as the problems of adults and this world have forced my grandchildren to navigate the harsh realities of loss; a loss that changes the trajectory of their young lives. 

In times of loss, grandchildren need their grandparents to do their jobs. And what is that job? To love them unconditionally; to be part of their lives. I am working to follow in the footsteps of my mother as I intentionally evolve as a grandmother. My mother loved her grandchildren and they loved her back. She was a very good grandmother. She was "there" when they needed her to be with a kind word or a loving hug; they felt valued. My hope is that I can be as good to my grandchildren as my mother was to hers. Nothing would give me more pleasure than to know that my grandchildren felt loved and cherished by me.  

Grandparents are in a unique position. We get a second chance to have children in our lives without having to do all the heavy lifting. We can love, nurture and find amusing behavior that a parent would be forced to correct. I remember when my number two granddaughter used her crayons to draw a LARGE mural on her freshly painted bedroom wall. Her mother and I had completely different responses.

When tragedy strikes a family, grandparents are needed even more. Grandchildren look around for solid ground and instinctively feel their parents "have their own problems" and try to protect them. A grandparent, with his or hers, years of life experience can offer some peace and solace. The Biden family has some tough times ahead of them and Joe knows it. Almost anyone can be President of the United States but only Joe can be grandfather to his son's children. He is the only one that can tell them stories about their father as a little boy or tell them about the good in their father. He will also be able to point out the good in his grandchildren and tell how much alike they are to their father.

As a grandparent, it is not about the heroic gesture. It is about showing up and unconditionally loving the dirty faces, sticky hands and the crayon murals on freshly painted walls. Parents have their job; it's hard, I know, I've done it. Grandparents have work to do too. Joe Biden has proved himself to be a positive role model for those of us working to be a loving grandparent.