After having obviously discussed this amongst themselves, our 5 & 7-year-olds came and asked me, "Why didn't God give them Grandma and Grandpas like so and so?" I didn't know what to tell them. I don't know why?
Do your children just love their Grandpa and Grandma? Do your parents just love to spend time with your kids, doing things like...going for ice cream together, spending the night with them once in a while? Do they enjoy knowing that they will have "fun" at Grandma and Grandpa's house? Do Grandma and Grandpa read your kids stories, take them on mini vacations, watch movies with them, play games, take them on lawn mower rides, go to their sporting events, dance recitals, or send birthday cards...any or all of these things?
My dad died of cancer 9 years ago this coming July 3rd. He and my step mom were most times "fun" grandparents. Always sending the kids a birthday card if they couldn't be here, and calling to say hello. And the times when we were together, they'd do fun things, like take them shopping, go to movies, get ice cream, go to our cabin in the Rockies, go rock collecting, fishing, have one of their "favorite" meals - lasagna...you know, that kind of thing. Sadly, my dad died when Noah was a baby, so he never met Colten, Sheyenne, or Samuel. He would have loved them to pieces though as well!
Then there's my mom, who never liked to "do" things with her own kids when we were growing up, let alone do things with the grandkids. Sadly, she is a very bitter, cranky person most of the time, who doesn't like anyone, or anything, most of the time. So, very seldom do our children see her. Then there is my husband's parents, who moved out of state quite a few years ago, who most of our youngest children have never even met. Cory, who is almost 12, doesn't remember them at all, and none of the other kids realize that they are alive until they see a picture at the holidays. They always say, "Who are those people mom? Are they still alive? Where do they live? Why don't they want anything to do with us kids like other grandmas and grandpas do?" That I do not know the answer to. I am sorry that they don't have that, but then again, they never have gone to any sporting events, dance recitals, plays or dramas, bowling days, award nights or high school graduations that our older kids had in the past either, even when they lived in the same city we did. And they have told my husband many, many times that "they will never come back this way, and that if the grandkids want to see them, they will go to them!" Why would the kids want to go see complete strangers though? They wouldn't. We know this is all because of the fact that we homeschool our kids, and have, for going on 17 years now. That is the only reason that we have ever been able to come up with, and that is because we homeschool, and they have been clear that they have never thought it "good enough." So, in essence, I guess we were forced into a choice years ago...either we stop homeschooling so that maybe they would desire to have something to do with our children, OR keep schooling them as we feel God has led us to, and therefore giving our children no grandparents. What a choice to have to make!
I've thought of this a lot lately since the kids keep bringing it up, and they so wish they had grandmas and grandpas to love them and want to be part of their lives, but it is not something we can give our kids. That is such a shame too. However, though we can't just easily "Adopt them some grandparents," we (Doug & I) can be the kind of grandparents to our grandchildren that our kids wish they had! That is the only thing we can do now. No, it doesn't make up for the loss that our children feel with no grandparents of their own, and we do try to mention my dad, "Kissing Monster Papa" as often as we can so that the older ones remember him always, and the younger ones can remember Papa too, even though they never got to actually meet him. And one day, I pray that our kids get to see their grandpa and have those good times back again!