My father-in-law recently visited us from Finland. We really enjoyed showing him around town and doing things together, especially since we’re still getting to know the area ourselves. Most importantly, though, the kids really enjoyed spending time with him, playing together out in the yard, and generally trying to wear Vaari (grandpa) out.
I’m glad they had that opportunity to get to know their grandfather. Both my grandfather (that I’m named after) and my grandmother on my father’s side had died before I was born, as had my grandmother on my mother’s side. Her father died while I was young, and I never got to know him very well. My step-grandmother was the only grandparent I had the chance to know all that well, and I’m sorry I didn’t take advantage of that opportunity more than I did.
So I’m grateful my children will be better off in that regard. Unfortunately my father died five years ago, so even my oldest barely remembers him. So it means a lot to me that they are at least getting to know their other grandfather, and that he takes such an interest in them. I know Emma’s soccer skills improved dramatically over the two weeks he was here. Walter cried himself to sleep the night before Vaari had to go home again. Nothing seems to faze Richard, but I know he enjoyed spending time with Vaari, too.
My mother is still alive, though currently recouperating from knee surgery. We’re looking forward to quick recovery and the next chance to get together with her. We live closer now, and the kids are older, so it should be much easier.
I’m grateful my kids will get a chance to know their grandparents. My challenge as a parent is to make sure they have as many opportunities as possible.