Monday, May 10, 2010

Hopes for my future children

A month ago I lost my Oma. Last night I lost my grandfather. It has really made me think about my relationship with both sets of grandparents. My Oma and Opa (mom's parents) lived in the Netherlands. As kids we saw them once a year if we were lucky. On top of that there was the language barrier. I didn't speak or understand a whole lot of dutch and the same for them with english. I loved them dearly but to say we were close is not true. I had to rely on the stories I heard about them to know anything about them.

As far as my Grandma and Grandpa (dad's parents), we were closer but I was one of ten grandchildren. We saw them on most holidays and here and there but I still wouldn't say I was very close to them. I remember as a child that we would go off and play and do our own thing whenever we visited with them. I never really joined in the conversations. I regret that now. I realize how much I could have learned from them and about them this way.

Growing up I had a friend that lived down the road from her grandparents and spent the afternoons with her Grandma until her dad and Grandpa came home from work. They would then (on most nights) all eat dinner together. I loved that. They were really close. She could tell her Grandma anything. Her Grandma would take us all shopping and out to lunch. I'm not saying that I wished I had her grandparents over mine at all but I sometimes wish I would have had that kind of close relationship with my grandparents. That is the kind of relationship I want my kids to have with their grandparents.

Rob and I have talked about where we would like to live. We have mentioned living in Florida, Michigan and just staying here. Since all of this has happened, I have really realized that where ever we end up living, it has to be close to at least one set of grandparents and I want my kids to be close with at least one set of grandparents. I don't really have a preference which set, just that they are able to see them often.

Another thing that got me thinking about my future kids' grandparents was when the grandparents came to stay with Scooby and Ladybug for the weekend. I love how they spoil those kids. They bring them toys, buy them toys, let them eat things like donuts and marshmallows, and probably do a lot of things they normally would not get away with with me or their parents. As much as it made me cringe or made things hard when they left, I know that they needed that. I think all kids should get that. Grandparents are supposed to do that and get away with it (as long as it is in moderation). I think it's good for kids to live under different rules once in a while.

I want my kids to have all of that.