Communicating With Your Grandchildren
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Communicating With Your Grandchildren

The subject line of the email simply read "Tee-hee". I was surprised to open it and realize that it was from my ten year old granddaughter. She obviously was happy and had used what I thought was an old-fashioned term to describe her mood.

Inside were a number of flashing icons including stars, happy faces and hearts. I couldn't help but smile just to see them.

I don't know when I will hear from my granddaughter, but her emails are always uplifting.

Janaya's messages are usually full of news. She told me about the music festival where she had done well but was "robbed" of first place by someone who she and her mother thought hadn't done very well. She indicated that she would like to come to Medicine Hat for a visit and even outlined the agenda. It included swimming, watching movies and eating out. She invited me to go shopping with her and assured me that she had her own money for this so wouldn't need me to buy her an outfit.

Sometimes, Janaya asks me if I had read a specific book. She not only gives me the title and author but also suggests that I go to the library to see if they have it.

When I reply to the messages, I find that my tone is far different than the one I use for messages to the Justice system, lawyers or business contacts. There are times that I write about leisure activities, food, relatives or even technology. I encourage Janaya to do well and be well.

Grandchildren are a gift. They provide us with the opportunity to be less serious, more childlike and unconditionally loved. They share innocent secrets (like when they actually did go to bed or how many chocolates they ate). They offer us a perspective that we might not otherwise have and ask questions that lead us to laugh at their honesty.

Each of my six grandchildren has a unique personality and approach to life. That causes me to expand my own perspectives and add activities to my lifestyle that might otherwise be lost. Like sitting in a paddling pool (as an adult) or watching an amateur recording of an elementary school production, or learning about their favourite video games, or playing trucks.

Grandchildren remind us to live in the moment. They are not concerned about the problems of the past or the potential crises of tomorrow. When you ask them about what has been happening in their lives they answer "Not much". When you ask about when they will come for a visit they respond "Don't know". But when you sit with them and look into their eyes as you tell them they are so wonderfully special they smile broadly and utter the genuinely spoken words we all long to hear "I love you".

I'm so glad that God created grandchildren.


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