Grandparents: We See You

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Hey There,

Grandma, Grandpa, Nana, Papa, Meme, Pepe – we see you.  

We know this was not your plan. Never did you dream you would be raising your grandchildren, but here you are. You have traded spoiling and adventures with schedules and bedtime routines. While you worry about your own children, you give your grandchildren the best they deserve. You push away fear, pain, sadness, and anger, so your grandbabies can know love. You kiss scraped knees, read bedtime stories, and teach right from wrong. In the middle of the night, you chase away bad dreams. You drive to numerous activities, help with homework, and take all the pictures at school concerts. You push through exhaustion each day, for the second time around. Retirement has been postponed, and you are researching college funds. You have made sacrifices, and we know you will do it again and again.

We see you- grandparents-turned-daycare-providers. You have interrupted your retirement. You could be on the golf course or lunching, but you’re not. No, right now, you are changing diapers, cooling tantrums, cutting grapes, and chasing toddlers. While we are working, you are cuddling and putting out fires. You are teaching life lessons, exploring, and reading books. This not a relaxing retirement, but your days are filled with giggles, hugs, and sloppy kisses. Our children are safe and loved, which makes being away from them much easier. We are grateful for all the effort you put into loving our children. They will forever remember your tenderness.

We see you, our superhero grandparents. In just a phone call, you can tell by the crackle in our voice that we are not okay. Suddenly, you swoop in for the afternoon, evening, or weekend and save the day! You spoil and give our children all the love they need. They return with stories, memories, and smiles. They had a fantastic time; we took a second to breathe.

However, your amazingness does not stop here. The list of all you do goes on and on. You pick our phone calls and attentively listen to all our melodramas. You show up with dinner or invite us over. We have caught you stealing laundry to do, fixing leaky sinks, and loading the dishwasher. You do all of this to make our lives easier, to make our families happier. It is because of you that we know parenting is a lifetime adventure. Our only hope is that we can do it with as much grace as you do.

We see you, grandparents and we would be lost without you. Look at all you have created and all the love you bring to the world. We see you, and we thank you.

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Darlene is your typical Rhode Islander – she’s never left. She grew up watching Paw Sox games, drinking Dels, and gives directions according to landmarks, most of which no longer exist. She did attend high school in Southeastern Massachusetts, if that counts as leaving, and traveled all the way to South County to attend University of Rhode Island. After four years, she left with degrees in both Elementary Education and English. After college she began teaching and eventually found a home in third grade. Third graders are inquisitive, beginning to exert their own independence, and constantly make her laugh. They put up with her quirky sense of humor and her sobbing throughout read alouds.
Darlene ended up marrying the boy she fell in love with in high school. She and her husband have two daughters, an energetic two year old and the sweetest seven month old. Most days are spent trying to navigate full time jobs, raising two young children, reading, and drinking coffee. She loves to be outdoors and hopes that her girls will love camping, hiking, and kayaking as much as she does.