On the first Sunday after Labor Day, we celebrate National Grandparents Day. This year the date falls on September 12. Like Mother’s Day and Father’s day we also have a whole day dedicated to our grandparents. Grandparents and children have a special connection that is proven to both make grandparents live longer, and also make children more emotionally resilient. Grandparents Day is an opportunity to treasure that connection and spend some quality family time together.
If you followed me for very long you know my grandparents raised me from the time I was 14 years old. I was a rowdy teenager going to live in a very strict but loving environment. My grandparents laid out the rules of the house, set expectations, and held me accountable for my actions. They saved my life.
My gramps had some great words of wisdom:
If you can get out of bed, you can go to work.
If you’re going too late for work you might as well not go in.
If you borrow something, you give it back in better shape than when you got it.
He also taught me responsibility. When I turned 16 years old, I got a job. He let me borrow his car to go and from work, and certain school activities. I had to pay $8.00 a week in gas and $50.00 a year to cover the extra insurance on the car.
I had a strict curfew, and believe me, I held to it. That’s not to say I was the perfect teen, I just played by the rules and didn’t get caught.
My granny set the example of hard work by cleaning houses to pay for my school clothes. It was hard work but she wanted me to have what the other kids had to wear.
She cooked dinner (supper) every day and if I wasn’t working I was expected to be at the dinner table at 4:30 sharp.
We didn’t have a dishwasher, granny would wash and I would dry and put the dishes away.
I was expected to wash my own clothes if they needed special attention, like delicates. She taught me how to do laundry at 5 years old on my little stool.
My grandparents loved me unconditionally and I’m a much better person because of their love.
I was fortunate to be able to show my love for them when they were sick and dying by taking care of each of them and allowing them to die at home which was their wish.
My grandparent’s love allowed me to flourish and move beyond the pain of my childhood. They also taught me to forgive.
I hope you have loving grandparent’s in your life and can share this special day with them.