Today is National Grandparent’s Day and I wanted to speak about the great teachers they become in our lives.
Firstly, if we are lucky we all have them. I learned so very much from my four grandparents and was blessed to have them all for from ten to twenty-six years of my life.
Opa was a fun presence in my young life. He was a storyteller and a partner in crime. My memories of him are vague mostly, but several memories do stand out and always will. I miss the sound of his voice and his accent. I miss his total love and approval, which I realize now not everyone else received from him in the same way. That is what grandparents are for. They should love you unconditionally and always represent the lighter side of life.
Grandma was my secret confidant. She was the only one who ever truly understood. She was sweet and loving and always there to listen. She was even more naive than even I can be with life sometimes, but that is what made her the fair and generous lady she was. I miss her uncanny way of making me feel better about the things that life throws at you. I cling to the presence and the connection we had and I will never fully let go of that.
Grandpa was the jokester and the wever of humorous tales. He had an endless string of jokes to tell and a mischievous spirit to make me laugh always.
Oma was the toughest woman I have ever met. She was a survivor of all things I could not comprehend. She bared widowhood with strength and resilience. Her love for me was unquestionable and the strongest thread I’ve ever felt. I miss her saying my name and her generosity with me always. She showered me with things, material and priceless, of which only an Oma could.
I love that my nephew has an oma of his own now. I know she and his parents will never let him forget he had an opa too.
I love to see my niece and nephews interacting with their grandparents. It makes me smile whenever I witness the bond they share.
So Happy Grandparent’s Day to all of you grandparents out there and I just want my parents to know what important roles they now play. I know they probably already realize, but I am here to repeat it anyway.
You are special people to your grandchildren, speaking from experience. You should never underestimate the influence you have on them and the adoration either. You are fun and light in a world full of day-to-day rules and responsibilities. You are a break in life and a place to just be kids. You imprint lessons and morals into their lives that nobody else can. Let them be free with you, free to just be kids and they will forever hold you in their hearts with a love like no other.
Lastly, I wanted to take a moment and share something about the importance of teachers Whether they are the life teachers that are grandparents or the ones in the classroom.
I found myself sitting on a slide, in a playground last week and thinking about school. As my little niece was to start her first day of school I imagined her playing where I sat, only days from then.
I saw my young self in the midst of a playground full of children, so long ago now it feels. It wasn’t always easy and it was downright tough at times, but I survived and learned so much from those years. I grew into the woman I am now and I am lucky to have gained those experiences. I hoped for only the best with my niece.
I think we were all scared for her, as myself and her grandparents pictured her there. The next time she appeared on this playground she would not have us there to protect her, and so we were afraid to picture our little girl set free in such a big big world. That image affected each of us in different ways. We saw her as that little baby still, but in front of our very eyes she had grown. Her independence can not be denied and so I knew in my heart she would knock em dead.
The other day I came across a video and I want to share it here now. I strongly urge you to take five minutes of your time and check out this speech by a truly inspiring teacher. She is well-spoken, humorous, and just the sort of teacher I hope my niece will have. Listening to this educator speak made me feel better about my niece’s new adventure and her step forward in life, which all who love her felt had come much too soon, but of which we all know she will learn so much.
The teacher in this clip talks about the student-teacher relationship as a human thing, a connection, the building of relationships. It is hugely comforting and heart-warming to know there are teachers out there that care this much.
School is a series of learning and growth experiences and it effects every child in its own unique ways. There are lessons to learn academically and socially that not every child grasps the same. I want my niece to thrive and make friends, to learn what she is good at and what she can excel in. I hope she makes lasting connections throughout the years and that her teachers inspire in her a love of learning. I want teachers and students alike to see what an amazing girl she truly is.
So this post is dedicated to grandparents and teachers. Always remember and be mindful of the power you have in your hands.