Being a parent, you see your children every day and share in their life experiences. Being a grandparent is a little different, you do not see your grandchildren every day, but you have the joy of watching them grow. As a grandparent you hope to guide and pass on to your grandchildren wisdom, so they make good decisions throughout the best and hardest parts of life. That can be a difficult task if your grandchildren don’t live near you. We have three granddaughters and we have experienced them growing up at a distance as well as close by. The oldest two granddaughters grew up near us, so we were able to see them on a regular basis. The youngest one, Aine grew up in Ireland so, watching her grow was slightly more difficult but not impossible. Each of our three granddaughters have their own unique personality and charm.
Aine now a teenager was born and lives in Ireland. We thought maybe we would not get to know her because she lives so far away. The modern age and technology has provided us the opportunity to communicate and travel to Ireland. It also allows our daughter, son in law, and granddaughter to come to America. Even if we are unable to travel to Ireland we are still able to guide and teach her using marvel that is technology. Skype and photographs have allowed us to be with her even when she’s on the other side of the globe. Even though we are unable to be with her doing the day-to-day we have been there for those extraordinary events from school performances to special occasions. As her talents appears, we ask do we have an artist in our family? Thought we are not able to be there in person we can be there through video message.
It’s good that our first two granddaughters grew up close by because it would have made it very difficult to grandparent like that in 1990. Our eldest two granddaughters grew up less than 30 minutes away and we were able to be there for the day-to-day and the monumental events.
We had the pleasure of seeing Sarah Anne (the middle granddaughter) grow since she was born. Sarah Anne can make you smile at any given moment. Sensitive to those around her she has that ability to make you feel good about yourself. Now as a young adult, she is working and using that ability to make people smile at work. Watching her grow she has taken a keen interest in the lives of well-known families such as the Ronald Regan’s. This has lead to some interesting travels.
Our oldest granddaughter has her Master’s degree and joined the ranks of professional young women in the workforce. She now knows that arduous work, dedication, and frustration bring out the best in you. We have watched her grow from cradle to adulthood. Being there for dance recitals, theater performances, graduation ceremonies, and family gatherings are always times that we cherish. Along with the mundane day-to-day activities like bike rides, weekend sleepovers and teaching her how to fish.
The biggest difference between the two experiences would be the guidance we are able to give. Even though we didn’t see the older two every day we would see them on a weekly basis which made it easier to understand their personalities. If they needed something we were a phone call away. Even though Aine knows she can call us if she needs anything we aren’t able to just drive over. That is difficult to adjust to.
Even so, as we grow older we see three young women living with purpose and we would like to believe that much of that came from us and will be with them for all their lives. The best part of being a grandparent is how much our three granddaughters have enriched our lives.
Contributed by Bill and Carolyn Haroldson
Teachers and grandparents