They are our parents and most of them enjoy (even just a little) the stressed-out requests for help when things are just too much (and the admission from their now-adult children that “I don’t know how you did it all and put up with me when I was that age.”!)
But the rewards for all are far greater. The calm and loving role models. The safe haven of going to visit Nan and Pop. The spoiling – whether a sneaked ice cream or one more bedtime story.
Then there are those Gammies and Gampas who provide permanent unpaid childcare for parents returning to work. They are worth their weight in gold.
For those of us without Grandparents around, whether too far, too old or no longer with us, we wistfully wonder what our parenting experiences would have been like with the support and love of the older generation.
So I say, in praise of grandparents: Ignore the temptation to snipe at the odd piece of interfering. Resist the urge to bicker over food choices, bedtimes or old fashioned suggestions.
On Sunday 30 October 2011, the NSW Government will officially recognise this contribution with the inaugural Grandparents Day. Other states in Australia, and indeed, countries around the world, have now made Grandparents Day an important date on the calendar annually.
Love and cherish them, say thank you and tell them how much you love them whenever you can. Teach your children to do the same. They deserve it.
Elisa Elwin is a Publisher, Travel Writer, Social Worker and parent to 2 teenage daughters Sam & Tori. With family far and wide, they visit and spread their wings a couple of times a year.