Our granddaughter celebrates her 9th birthday today, which is another reminder of how quickly time flies by. It seems like only yesterday when I held her in my arms and purred over the arrival of our first grandchild.
My daughter and her husband had held the name secret and now announced her as Summer. I responded with great enthusiasm: ‘Well, I suppose it’s better than Winter.’
She has, of course, turned out to be aptly named. She is just a little ray of sunshine.
Since then I have discovered the great thing about being a grandparent – we have two now – is that you can claim all the good characteristics to your own genes. The good looks, the intelligence, the happy disposition – all these attributes are undoubtedly coming down through our side of the family. The tantrums, the sulks, the bad school marks – these are the fault of the other lot, the outlaws.
Of course, the outlaws may dispute this. Many a glass of red wine has been consumed as we enjoy the company of the outlaws to debate such genetic influences.
And there are many other privileges.
We can hand them back when the going gets tough.
We can bore them silly with tales of how it used to be in our day, before smart phones and computer games.
We can romp and play with them without the over-protection that many parents display these days.
We can lecture their parents – our children – about the finer points of parenting.
We can compare notes with our friends as we boast competitively about the first place in the swim race or the brilliant dance performance.
We can occasionally find time in our own hectic social life to babysit while exhausted parents have a night off and we bask in the self-appointed glory of doing our bit for the kids.
Through it all, we can reflect, as I do now, on how time flies by. Now, if only I could remember what it was like when I was a child…