by Harriet Hairston
Bill Cosby once told his children that his parents were not the people he grew up with. He said of his mother, “You’re looking at an old person who’s trying to get into heaven now!”
I have had the opportunity to watch my sons interact with their grandmothers this summer, and to some extent, I feel the same way Bill Cosby did. Grandparents are like the sequels to the stories we tell of our parents growing up. To make it interesting, they are more patient, fun and loving than what we witnessed growing up.
This is not to say that my parents were not patient or loving. Quite the contrary! I just think both sides of our family get a kick out of watching us try to do what we complained about them doing years ago. They laugh behind our backs and tell jokes to one another about the way they successfully cursed us with the “I hope you have a child that acts just like you!” hex, then exacerbate our troubles by giving our children candy after candy and hug after hug when we’re trying to be serious.
Of course I’m being facetious (kinda), but it’s a joy to see my children interacting with our parents. Their wisdom now is so refreshing, and there are many times when I sneak and use it when they’re not looking. Then I act like it was my idea the whole time (don’t act like you don’t do that).
Either way, I appreciate the grandparents my parents became in a very genuine way. The so-called “mistakes” they said they made while raising us (I think I turned out OK, though) gives us the opportunity to learn an even more excellent way of raising our own children. That alone should give them reserved seating in heaven. :o)
BMWK, how have your parents taught you how to better raise your children? What memories do you have of them allowing your children to get away with things you never were able to get away with growing up?
Harriet Hairston is a woman who slips and slides in and out of labels (military officer, human resource manager, minister, mentor, spoken word artist and teacher). The only ones that have stuck so far are “wife” and “mother” (the most important in her estimation). The rest have taught her well that only what she does for Christ will last. There is one more permanent label she holds: “author.” You can purchase her first book, “Who Are You?” simply by clicking on the link. You can also contact her at email@example.com.