Nora Walsh Kerr
Doing it Over
Updated: Jun 23, 2022
One of my favorite interview topics is the subject of grandchildren. Most of my clients happen to have them and when this subject comes up, they just light up at the mere mention of their grandson or granddaughter. While I love to hear stories about their grandchild's whip-smart commentary or athletic abilities, I'm more focused on what the role means to the person in front of me.
I ask 'What does it mean to you to be a grandparent?' and generally a big smile breaks out on their face. One recent client told me simply, 'It is THE BEST.'
For one, grandparenthood is more on their own terms. They can spend time with these little people but then return them swiftly to their own parents when they've had enough! They can also decide what to be called: Nana, Pops, Bubbie, Zayde, Gramps. But there's clearly more to it than that.
The real kicker about grandchildren is it allows people a chance to do it over. Another opportunity to witness childhood and notice things that may have been missed the first time around, because they were too stressed, too busy, and too parent-y.
One grandfather spoke of the joy he felt allowing his grandkids to jump in the mud puddles, fully owning that he was too uptight as a father to allow his own children to jump in the muck. As a parent, I completely understood. Who has time for another load of wash?
Raising children is tough, stressful and a full-time job. Add the extra layers of financial worries, work/life balance, and for many right now, remote learning responsibilities, and there's just not enough hours in a day. It's only natural that we miss a lot the first go around. My kids are lucky to have a 'Grandma' and a 'G-Ma' to help fill in the gaps, even if it's mostly over FaceTime these days. Perhaps someday I'll be lucky enough to be a grandmother myself and get the chance to do it over again, only better and with way more cookies.