Once a parent…

I used to think that when your children were grown, your parenting role/responsibilities ended. Nope! They just take on different appearances.

You learn to let go of the decisions your children make that you might not agree with…at least, as long as the decisions are not life-threatening. You might still have some input into those decisions–but it’s on their terms now, not yours. And you learn (or at least you try really hard) to keep your mouth shut once the decision has been made.

It gets even more challenging in some ways if you become a grandparent. Things change from generation to generation, and attitudes and behaviors that were once accepted and expected when you were rearing your children may not still be so when your children are raising their children.

There are some advantages to being a grandparent. You get to spoil your special ones in ways that are not possible when you are the parent. You can act as a buffer sometimes between parent and child. You can be more relaxed.

But in some ways you’re still a parent. You can’t stop caring. In some ways it’s even more difficult when you’re a grandparent, because you have the advantage of seeing from a longer perspective than you did when you were a parent. You can see the pain in your grandchild–but you can also see the pain of your child who is hurting as well…and sometimes there isn’t anything you can do except hold them and love them.

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

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