Sunday will be Grandparents Day. I have been a grandparent for a long time – almost 23 years. I have five grandchildren (four girls and one boy) ranging from 12 to 22 and each one is special.
Like our children before them, they grow up way too fast.
Even though it is Grandparents Day, we don't need gifts because the grandchildren themselves are gifts enough.
Grandparents Day has been around since 1978 when Congress passed legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparent's Day. It was Aug. 3, 1978, when then-President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation.
Just for your information, Grandparents Day has both an official flower and a song. The flower is the forget-me-not, and the song is Johnny Prill's, “A Song for Grandma and Grandpa.” Both were chosen by the National Grandparents Day Council.
I think we have to become grandparents to appreciate and understand how our parents turned into completely different people than the ones who raised us.
I can remember my father telling me when my children were young, 'spanking is not always the answer'. I wish he had figured that one out 15 or so years sooner.
My mother would put up the breakables when we came to visit with the grandchildren. When we were growing up, she thought slapping the hand was a better way to keep things safe. Also, she cooked our meals and we either ate it or not. She did not ask us what we wanted.
When the grandchildren came along she would make them a side dish of their own if they did not care for what everyone else was eating. She still does that today for the great-grandchildren.
Then one day in December of 1995 my husband and I became grandparents for the first time and it became obvious – grandchildren are born for us to enjoy, spoil, and always cook what they like.
I've shared this many times but I was blessed to grow up with two sets of grandparents. I was almost 40 when I lost my first grandfather and much older when I had to give up my other three grandparents. I still miss them all.
I learned so much from them I can not even begin to list it all. We spent my first 11 years living just down the street from my maternal grandparents and then moved to Arkansas where I spent the next years close to my paternal grandparents.
I was blessed again when my Illinois grandparents retired and moved to Arkansas. I got to be near all of them during their final years.
Grandpa Chipman let me drive his pick-up before I was old enough for a license. He then took me to take my driver's test using his truck.
My Grandma Chipman taught me how to work chopping cotton or picking strawberries. She loved working in the fields. We spent many hours together Christmas shopping during the holiday season.
My Grandpa Bradford liked to raise a garden and he taught us about gardening.
Both my grandmothers were wonderful cooks and always had a cake, pie or cookies for us when we visited. I wish I had spent more time in the kitchen with them.
They all survived the depression and were very hard-working people who knew how to take care of their homes and families.
On Grandparents Day, it really is the thought that counts — just make sure your grandparents know that you’re thinking of them.
Grandchildren are the rewards of getting older.
Even though they think they have outgrown us, it will never happen.
If you don't have grandparents, look around, adopt one.