"Grandma Advice" is an ongoing advice column. All opinions and thoughts should be taken lightly, and you should always seek expert help when necessary. Thank you.
Dear Devoted Grandma, I have three grandkids, aged 7, 10, and 13. They're growing up so fast, and I want to make sure we're building memories that they will cherish forever. But sometimes I wonder, am I doing enough? How can I make our time together truly memorable? Best wishes, Barbara from New York
Your question is the golden thread that runs through the fabric of every grandparent’s life. In a world brimming with distractions, how do we create lasting impressions? How do we etch memories so vivid that they stand the test of time, technology, and everything in between?
Firstly, let’s consider the nature of memory itself. Often, it’s not grand gestures but the small, repetitive acts of love and kindness that nestle themselves deep within our memory banks. The smell of cookies baking on a Saturday afternoon, the laughter echoing during a failed attempt at a board game, or even the soothing tone of a bedtime story—all these can become timeless treasures in your grandkids’ hearts.
That said, here are a few ideas to create those lasting impressions:
- Storytime: The Legacy Edition: Why not start a family storytelling tradition? You could share stories from your life, turning it into a legacy project where each story carries a life lesson.
- Time Capsule or Travel Journals: Create a time capsule that captures your time together. Let your grandkids decorate them, and use them to jot down what you did, funny quotes, or even stick in some photographs.
- Nature Walks with a Twist: Take your grandkids on a nature walk, but make it a tradition to do something unique each time—like collecting interesting stones, or taking photos of rare birds.
- Skill Swap: Let your grandkids teach you something for a change. Learning how to navigate a new app or play a video game can be both humbling and endearing.
- Random Acts of Kindness: Get your grandkids involved in doing something kind for others, whether it’s making a meal for a neighbor or volunteering at a community center.
- Record and Replay: Use your phone to record fun or touching moments. Once a year, have a “family movie night” where you replay these moments. It’ll be a tear-jerker, I promise.
- Seasonal Traditions: Pick an activity to do each season—a specific beach trip in the summer or an annual winter scavenger hunt.
- Love Letters: Write your grandkids a heartfelt letter once a year summarizing all the special times you had and what they mean to you.
Barbara, the reality is that you’re already doing enough by being an involved, caring grandma who’s concerned about the quality of time spent with her grandkids. You are planting the seeds of memory every time you laugh, hug, or simply listen to them.
The real magic isn’t just in the activities you plan but in the love and attention you bring to them. Because ultimately, it’s not what you do but how much love you put into the doing that counts.
Here’s to creating memories!