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Our lives, just like the year, can be divided into seasons. In the spring, there is birth and a sense of renewal, followed by the warmth and promise of summer, the beauty of fall, and, finally, the busyness of winter. It isn’t just man who has divided up our time, as Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot,” and so on.
Just like the unique parts of the year, grandparenting comes with its own special seasons, beginning with:
Spring: A time of birth and blooming
Spring is my favorite season, as, after the cold and dark winter, there is the feel of warm sunshine on your skin, the scent of cherry blossoms wafting through the air, and the sounds of birds singing their happy tunes. Regarding grandparenting, spring is also the season of birth and new life.
Spring is meeting and holding your grandbaby for the first time.
After that period of uncertainty between raising your kids and having an empty nest, spring is a new beginning for this precious little life, your children, and you, Grandma.
Spring is the delicious smell of a new baby and the feeling when they give you a sleepy smile or squeeze your finger.
It’s the sound of baby coos and how soft, smooth, and perfect their skin feels. (I can’t stop caressing it!)
Springtime is wonderful.
Enjoy this special time, dear Grandma. It is such a sweet time and one that goes way too quickly. It can also be a tiring time for new parents, so while you want to respect any boundaries in place, you can still offer to make dinner, do the dishes and laundry, or hold the baby while mom gets some sleep.
Summer: Fun and excitement
Remember when you were a kid and how summertime equaled non-stop fun and play? The same goes for this season in grandparenting – your spring baby has grown, can walk and talk, and maybe even attends preschool. They are learning so much, but gosh, they are busy – and so are you!
Summer is running through the sprinkler, taking impromptu picnics, and catching fireflies at dusk.
It is the season of fostering curiosity, which is great since the weather is warm and the sun shines.
Summer is a time for making memories, and now that your grandbaby is 2, 3, 4, or 5, they know and love you, their special Grandma, and they associate you with all the fun and sun that comes with this happy season.
Summertime is wonderful.
Is it just me, or does this age group seem to have boundless energy? The older we get, the harder it can be to keep up, so take breaks as needed and set rules and boundaries for everyone’s sake. (Oh, and as you do in the actual summer, be sure to stay cool and hydrated – it’s a great rule of thumb for both hot temperatures and toddler tantrums!)
Fall: Beautiful change
Fall is beautiful. The leaves are changing, the temperatures are cooler, and the colors of everything seem to be more vibrant than before. Things change quickly in the fall, just like they do with your grandbabies. Change can be challenging, but, like the fall, it is beautiful.
Your grandchild is now school-age and seems to change even faster than the leaves on the trees. They are becoming their own person with their own unique personality and interests, and while it can be bittersweet, it is always beautiful.
It’s the season of teaching and learning, school projects, and supporting your grandchild through their educational journey.
Like the break from cooler temps, fall also brings a break in the pace, as this age group tends to be a little slower moving and easygoing. Enjoy it.
Fall is wonderful.
Your grandbaby is growing up, dear Grandma, and these school-age years can fly by even faster than the toddler ones. Change is hard, but it is also exciting, so enjoy every shared story, every hard-won victory, and every growing pain. Fall is a wonderful season and one that you would hate to miss!
Winter: Warmth and light in the cold and dark
Do you get the winter blues? So do I – especially when I realize that I blinked and my grand is now a teenager who will soon go out into the world and do great things. Many people dread the winter, but with it comes new sights and experiences that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Winter is busy with its many holidays and gatherings, so it is only fitting that your teenage grandchild also seems to be going a million miles per hour with their studies, activities, and friends. We may dread the winter, but remember – there is good to be found in this often uncertain time.
As the chill outside makes us huddle closer together, take this time to celebrate your grandchild’s accomplishments, recognize their growth, and cherish the bond that only strengthens with time. Things are different than they were in spring, summer, and fall, but that isn’t necessarily bad.
Winter is wonderful.
As we bundle up in winter, so too do we bundle up our love and affection, offering it freely to those we hold dear. This said, don’t be afraid to reach out and send reminder texts that tell your teen grand how proud you are and how loved they are. Their schedule may not permit as many visits as before, but don’t let that make you feel less loved – you aren’t, Grandma. Even in the cold of winter, you are their sunshine and cherry blossoms.
Grandparenting, like the seasons, is an ongoing cycle of birth, growth, transition, and deepening bonds. It offers us a chance to relive the joys of parenting while also providing the unique joy that only comes from being a grandparent. So, dear Grandma, as the seasons change, remember to embrace each moment, offer love unconditionally, and cherish this precious journey.