I consider grandparents a pivotal and essential part of the family. Growing up I had the great fortune of having both my maternal and fraternal grandparents alive. I wouldn’t lose one until late in my teenage years. The way I see it my children will also have their grandparents be in their life for a large portion of their formative years.
My grandparents are one of the primary factors of why I am the person that I am. Not really sure where I would have ended up in life without their care, knowledge, and affection.
I know this is cliché, but I do subscribe to one of a grandparents primary jobs is to spoil their grandchildren, even to the chagrin of the parent. I know my parents will and already do to some degree even though my daughter is barely only 3 months old. It’s one of the many ways in which they show their love.
Another primary responsibility of any grandparent is to pass on knowledge. There are two major knowledge areas in which grandparents are best to contribute at. The first of which is family history, I fully expect both mine and my wife’s parents to share stories of when we were younger with our children.
The second of which is life skills. Granted my wife and I will be imparting lots of them to our children as they grow, but there are some things we won’t know or think of. That’s where the grandparents come in. To give a specific example, I gained from my maternal grandfather, I learned about vegetable gardening, in specific tomatoes. This extended into other parts of gardening, accented by grandmothers, mothers, and scout learned skills. Needless to say I have acquired a green thumb.
While I expect that my children will gain some of those same gardening skills I’m more interested to see what they will gain from my father. By trade, he is a carpenter. He has passed more knowledge onto to me than I could hope to ever absorb. Needless to say I won’t be shelling out money to a repair person for basic and moderate level home repair things.