For my regular blog I was trying to think of something really interesting or exciting that would link into my recently published book; Jay-Pea-Eyes aka Junior Private Investigators. Having already written a few paragraphs about it previously, I wondered if I should write something totally different, something about Near Death Experiences or Ghostly Happenings (perhaps next time).
I then started thinking about my two wonderful grandsons; what will they think of my books when they get to the age where they can read them on their own?
And who actually buys a book?
Is it the child? A friend of the child? Brother, sister, uncle, aunty?
The parent? The grandparent?
That started me thinking about grandparents, so here goes, my blog on ‘Grand-parenting’ ;-)
Anyone reading this will most likely have been through the excitement of the birth and growing up of their own children. As your children get older, they rely on your guiding them onto the right path to (hopefully) a successful and happily fulfilled life.
You will know that being a parent is one of the most difficult tasks anyone could ever take on, it involves patience, understanding, caring, loving, patience, empathy, nervousness when they are ill, and patience - not to mention patience, or did I already say that?
Seriously though, everything you know as a couple trying to make a start in life, everything that you think you know, goes flying pretty fast out the door. There's no longer anyone in the house like your own parent, (although some might be fortunate to have them living with them), no-one to ask or discuss things with or to make decisions with apart from your partner who is usually as new to this as you are!
My mother-in-law who I love dearly (and have called her ‘Doctor Betty’ for all the knowledge she has given me over the years), always said that things happen in ‘phases’.
These phases are what you go through in this life, first as a couple and then a family. As a couple without children for example, you purchase a second hand car or if lucky, possibly a two door soft-top. Over the coming years you might get the opportunity to have another one or two sports cars before deciding on having children.
And this is when the next phase kicks in - things start to change, the sports cars have to go, a more sensible car purchased, four doors, with child seat. Or two child seats.
You have to buy a car that your parents would have owned – and one that you would have said you would never get in, never mind buy one. An ‘old persons’ vehicle. Hah!
Then you get to the phase where, twenty or so years later, you have seen your own children leave the family home to start their own family.
Now you can get that sports car you dreamed of, or go on those nice holidays with the extra money that you have saved from no longer supporting your kids in the family home.
It's great isn't it? Well I suppose it could be, if you could still get in and out of that sports car without pulling a muscle and looking for the muscle rub or anti-inflammatory cream.
We are older (and hopefully wiser) and have more freedom; house paid for which gives us more money to spend on things we can still do. We might have investments and perhaps freedom from financial worries.
This is the time when we have that 'hallelujah' moment and realise we can stretch (yes, we should be doing lots of this) our thoughts to the purchase of another sports car; perhaps a motor home or even a tent if you can find somewhere to plug in the electric blanket.
And …this is the time when your children give you fantastic news - they are having their own children.
Having grandchildren is different to having your own children, how or why this feels like this I don't know, but it is easier. Maybe it’s because we have more time to spend with them, maybe it’s more enjoyable because you are not struggling to make ends meet. Who knows? All I can say is that this is the next phase; it’s back to forgetting the sports cars and getting a reliable family (yawn) car with plenty of seats and one or two child safety seats.
Children, grand-children, parents, grand-parents.
They’re all phases, and you can’t beat ‘em!