What Kind of Grandparents Will They Be?

  • August

    EVER SINCE I WAS YOUNG, I have been very athletic. Doing sports such as gymnastics, cheerleading, dance, weight training, mini-triathlons and dragon boating.

    My parents on the other hand, are active but not sporty.

    My dad used to ski and swim, but it’s been a long while since he’s done anything athletic. He is starting to get a round belly and his limbs are looking more thin and weak year-by-year.

    My mom took ballet as a child and tried to learn skiing when we were kids, but unfortunately, she wasn’t born with an “athletic bone”.

    My parents are in considerably good health, but I can see that their age is starting to catch up with them.

    I am the youngest of 3, the first to get married and likely the first to have a child.

    As Jon and I enter parenthood, I wonder what kind of grandparents my parents will be?

    My parents have already voiced that they aren’t interested in being full-time baby sitters.

    They’ve already made it very clear that they don’t want to be at the beck-and-call of a grandchild that disrupts their normal retirement routine.

    My mom loves to go to dancing, tai chi, reiki and pilates classes. And she has her regular Mirvish and concert subscriptions. She keeps herself very busy with a wonderful community of friends and family.

    My dad is a home-body who enjoys tinkering with his lights, gadgets and inventions. He loves to read, watch movies and create intricate circuit boards. He has become a bit of an introvert over the years and it worries me to see him not being proactive in his physical fitness.

    My parents have their routines, but as new grandparents, I wonder if they will change their minds about what retirement looks like for them?

    I hope that they will bond with the baby, however I would never force them to help out if they didn’t want to.

    I’m hoping that my mom will fall in love and feel a connection that she hasn’t felt in a long time.

    I hope that having a baby will encourage my dad to get out of the house and exercise more. Picking up a grandchild will be tiresome and running after one even more so.

    But these are not reasons to have a child, but hopeful byproducts.

    My parents are full of love, but after 38 years of marriage and several years of retirement, I wonder how happy they really are?

    These are my secret confessions. These are the things I think about when I look at my parents who are in their late 60’s and early 70’s.

    As a child, my parents were invincible.
    And when I saw by grandparents they seemed fragile and old.

    Time has flown by and it’s incredible to consider my parents as “seniors”. I’ve always wanted the best for my parents but fully acknowledge that I can’t do it for them nor can I assume that what I want is what they want.

    My perception of how I want to live my life is just that, my perception. Letting go of how I think others should live is critical to my own happiness and acceptance of their free-will.

    My idea of success and happiness are not theirs.

    What I think is best for them may not be true.

    Even having “perfect health” doesn’t guarantee happiness or joy out of life.

    So, the best I can hope for is that they are living a life they love.

    And the best that I can do is to live my own words by creating a life that I am in love with.

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