Welcome to a place where we can share ideas about grandparenting, especially ways to pass spiritual values and family stories to the next generation.

Mary is the co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild's Heart.
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Co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild's Heart

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Babysitting Investment

Tuesday's Grand Connection Thought
by Mary May Larmoyeux

I was visiting with a good friend today who happens to be a grandmother. And guess what she's been doing for the last 8+ hours. If you said babysitting (probably with a smile), you were right.

Before I had grandchildren I used to think that it was a lame excuse if someone said they wouldn't be coming to a party or participate in a meeting because they were "babysitting for the grandkids." I thought, "Surely your kids can find someone else to watch their children."

But after Pops and I had grandchildren, I finally understood.

I now think that babysitting for the grands is right up there with finding the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. But why?

Maybe it's because I think of Pops' and my children as I watch the grands play with toys that once belonged to their parents. Maybe it's because I now understand that time does not stand still and that life is very short. Or maybe it's because I realize that babysitting for the grandkids is a way to invest in my legacy—a way to sow spiritual seeds today for future generations.

The values we model for our grands, the faith that we share, and the family stories we tell when babysitting ... all weave a connection to generations we will never see.

As Proverbs 13:22a says, "A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children."

To me, babysitting for the grands is much more than just watching the kids. It's building an inheritance filled with memories, and family stories, and hugs.

So, what do you think about babysitting for your grandkids?

He is able
Mary May Larmoyeux

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Anonymous said...

I think it is so fortunate when grandparents can sit with their grandchildren. Unfortunately, ours were born when we were living in the East and we had to bond in various ways.

When they were ill or had a problem they received a note from us always asking the same question. “What time is it? It’s treat time.” We’d send a little something for their parents to buy an ice cream cone, go to a movie, the zoo, etc. just to cheer them up.

With seventeen grandchildren, we were busy all year remembering birthdays and holidays. Often, we’d send photos of them taken on our last visit or a drawing with a made up story.

Our oldest grandchild is 39 and the youngest great grandchild is three so we are still in the same routine. Cherish them. They grow so quickly. Blessings, Rita

Mary May Larmoyeux said...

Thanks for the great ideas for long-distance grands, Rita!

Anonymous said...

I give it two thumbs up! Now that Audrey is not here I can't imagine how hard it would be if I didn't have the memories to pull out every once in a while of seeing her first steps, first tooth, her smile, etc. - Sharon

Mary May Larmoyeux said...

I know what you mean, Sharon. We babysat for our oldest grandchild once a week ... thinking that she'd always live nearby. Wrong! Like you, I cherish those early memories. - Mary

Karen Jordan said...

I'm grateful to the Lord that He's given me the opportunity to be able to care for my grandchildren occasionally, when their parents need me. Since we moved away from our parents when my children were young, I know how much it would have meant for our parents to be available nearby, if we needed them.

I often hesitate to use the word "babysitting," when referring to the time I spend with my grandchildren. I use to abhor that term when I heard a dad use it to refer to taking care of his own children. "Babysitting" seems to be a term that applies to people who are paid (in cash) for their services, not parents or grandparents.

Blessed to have some grandparenting time, too!

Mary May Larmoyeux said...

Hi, Karen! I really like what you said about thinking of ourselves as "grandparenting" instead of "babysitting." That's so true and I appreciate the reminder. - Mary