The relief is delectable: our three children survived childhood and adolescence and are now responsible, happy adults. That is the ultimate reward of parenting. We give a nod to our skills, great credit to the kids themselves, with abounding thanks to God. There are enough examples of good parents with bad kids or bad parents with good kids to keep our personal pride in check.
Do we really want to do it again
Sharing a home with two generations allows us to experience parenting anew. Yes, we are the grandparents who leave the parenting to the boys’ mother, but we get front row seats to the maturation. It isn’t always pleasant.
Glimpses of gratification
Thankfully parenting and grandparenting offers tidbits of reward before tempting us to throw out the kids.
The once-a-week dinner table when everyone convenes in a good mood, conversation flows, and no one complains about the food keeps us going until the next pleasant meal, which may be another week out. A verbal thank you for a ride or a Starbucks reminds us that the boys know manners and can, at the minimum, mimic appreciation. Laughing together during a game or sharing the completion of a puzzle supplies the warm fuzzies which may be depleted by the next surly remark.
Yep, it’s worth it.
All this to say that being on the front line of grandparenting isn’t always pleasant, but the rewards are enough to remind us that even greater rewards may be ahead. And if not, we have had a good time along the way.