I saw a picture once of a grandmother and a little girl running toward each other, arms wide. The caption said, "Where would I be without you?"
I showed it to my mother one day while visiting her with my children, her grandchildren.
I asked her, "Which one of them is saying this? I think it's the child, grateful for her granny." My mom laughed and said, "I thought it was the old lady."
The appreciation and gratitude from each party is in itself an act of giving. Both feel they are on the receiving end. The perfect relationship.
My children were fortunate to have had five grandparents in their lives, all of whom lived close by.
One of their grandmothers was only with us long enough to see them as infants and toddlers, but her love and support will never be forgotten.
We lived 20 minutes away from one grandfather who was in the next town, and even closer to two others — one a biological grampa, and the other a step-grandad who they embraced as their own as well.
Their step-grandad and their other granny lived only five minutes away, and these wonderful souls welcomed visits as often as we could come over. We were in each others' houses several times every week.
In this day and age when so many grandparents and grandchildren must have a long-distance relationship or perhaps none at all, this was riches for the whole family.
Expressing love for their grandparents was woven into everyday life for our children, and was systematically celebrated on special occasions. Gifts from little ones touched older hearts.
For one Father's Day, our youngest daughter built a birdhouse which she gave to her step-grandad. He had a garden, much bigger than any we've ever had. The kids would pick tomatoes and peppers in the rubber boots that were kept just for them in their grandparents' kitchen closet.
For Christmas, our little ones gave another grampa a Santa coffee cup, and I made shortbread cookies. When he was planting his orchard, we gave him gardening supplies and wind chimes.
Did Granny need some help around the house?