Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The Joys of Grand-parenthood

As some of you may know, one of our sons and his family have been living in Australia for the past 7 years, returning to the UK in March this year. When they emigrated in 2004 they had a boy of 3 and a baby girl of 10 months. It was very hard to say goodbye to them and I can still remember the dull ache I felt inside. However, I was lucky enough to be able to visit them several times during the 7 year period they were there and thus retained the bond I had with my grandson and got to know my grand-daughter as well. When they had their third child, another boy, in September 2008, I travelled with my mother to meet the newest member of our family. The last time husband and I visited Australia was in December 2009 and so at our reunion in the UK in March, two and a half year old Matthew half-remembered us.

They are now getting to know their cousins and get on together well. We have 2 grand-daughters living just down the road from us so see them from time to time, although they are teenagers now and naturally have their various activities which take up quite a lot of their spare time, but they do come to stay occasionally as and when the need arises.

Last year our youngest grand-daughter came to stay with us for a few days during the summer holidays and was keen to repeat it this year. So we asked if our two eldest grandchildren from Australia would like to come as well. It was agreed and the dates confirmed. About 3 weeks ago we picked them up from home in Worcester on a Friday morning and were back at home in Somerset by lunchtime. We returned them back to their parents at 5 pm on the following Monday.

So for 3 days and 3 nights we were in sole charge of grandson who will be 11 in September and 2 grand-daughters ages 7 and 8. We are 30 years out of practice and we were exhausted but we loved it. They were as good as gold and I think we all had fun. The weather could have been kinder but we had a list of possible things to do with wet weather contingencies. It worked a treat and when we delivered them home husband told them, in front of their parents, that their behaviour had been exemplary and that they could come visit again. They said they had had a good time too and I think they meant it.

We drove home and when we walked back indoors at about 7pm it felt so quiet and I felt again that old, familiar ache. A friend happened to ring to find out how we had got on - "I've been thinking of you" she said. I told her and explained the empty feeling. "I know exactly what you mean" she said. "Sit down and have a glass of wine and you will feel better by 9 o'clock" and do you know, she was right - well almost!

15 comments:

Deb said...

sounds like a nice visit...with lots of memories...

Maggie May said...

I hung on to every word as that dull ache has been oh, so familiar.

Glad you had such a wonderful time with the grandchildren and isn't it wonderful to have them back in this country?
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Mara said...

Having them in the same country must be fantastic! At least now they can come over for a weekend!

Denise said...

Wine works well with all things, okay most things :) Sounds like you had a great time with your grandchildren Anne, that great. I do look forward to that day. Thanks for stopping by my earthquake post, all's quiet now but we're all wondering about Hurricane Irene.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Deb - the best memories.

Maggie - it is wonderful and we are planning the next holiday, at half term, already.

Mara - 100 miles to visit instead of 10,000!

Denise - I think they all enjoyed it as well. Keep safe!

Alcoholic Daze (ADDY) said...

I am told that being grandparents mean you have the best of both worlds: you can involve yourself with children, but hand them back at the end of the day! THere's always half-term in October........

monvovage said...

HI, well i am quite young and i don't have grand children but i too miss my grand parents ,who stay far away from me but still i love them :). Madam Anne i am from India and you know in India ,we grand kids are supposed to stay with our grand parents till teenage ,we are supposed to learn basic art of life from them only even in it is adage that "grand kids are reflection of their grand parents ".Anyways i wish you good health and have a grt time with ur Grand kids:).tcr

regards
Mon voyage

debsdigest.com said...

Grandchildren are wonderful aren't they - they bring us a new lease of life. Enjoying your blog.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Addy - that is the truth! and we are planning half term already.

Mon Voyage - grandparent/grandchild relationships are very sepcial.

Debs Digest - I feel very privileged to have 7 beautiful grandchildren.

Gill - That British Woman said...

can't wait until we have grandchildren.

Gill in Canada

jabblog said...

It's lovely that the cousins have been able to spend time together and it's fun to have them stay. It's oh so quiet when they've gone again and I recognise that dull ache;-)

Pam said...

What a lovely post and i'm so glad that you are spending time with them. I know how much my kids love their grandparents and have so much fun with them. Their nana always knows the best little songs and stories!

BreastFeeding Top Shop said...

I am going to be a grandmother to a baby girl in November. A Thanksgiving baby. I am so excited because she is our first grand baby. I am though a little worried because my youngest will be 13 so its been a while since we have had a little one around. But I think it will all come back naturally. I can't imagine the pain you go through being apart from your grandchildren because I would imagine it being the same feeling as it being your own child moving away. I hope to have a great relationship with my grandchildren. Thanks for your post

Cynthia L. H. said...

Strawberry Jam Anne,
Spending that time with your sweet little ones sounds wondrous. ;^) I was able to spend several weeks in August with mine, too. Then, when school began (for me and for them) I felt that familiar ache, too. I know exactly what you mean. I spoke on the telephone with my 8 year-old granddaughter yesterday. I can hardly wait for their visit, later in October! (SO great to check in on you, too. ;^) I've missed 'talking!') ;^)

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