Monday I attended a special day at Hancock Elementary, not as a participant but as a photographer. The Hancock kindergarten, first, second and third graders invited their grandparents to join them in an afternoon of fun activities.
Even though I wasn't among the grandparents (yet), I couldn't have been more pleased for both the adults and children. They were having so much fun doing things together liking reading, crafts, snacks and simply sharing.
I especially enjoyed hearing the children share what they like best about their grandparents. They said that Grandpa would take them fishing, Grandma made them special treats, they read to them, played with them and gave them lots of hugs and kisses. All things that are fun to do as grandparents.
When the classroom activities were done, the grandparents, adopted grandparents and children gathered in the gym to watch a slide show of pictures from the afternoon. When I stepped into the darkened gym I thought I was in the wrong place because it was so quiet. Then I looked into the crowd and saw the children nestled close to their grandparents and sitting very quietly through the show.
I couldn't believe that these were the same children that are busy talking, wiggling and running around through similar events that take place in that gym. It reinforced my belief that grandparents have a calming effect on their grandchildren.
I am sure that much of this comes from the fact that grandparents simply have more time to spend with the little ones. This is not saying anything bad about parents, just that parents have a lot going on at once when it comes to their children. They often have jobs to go to, meals to prepare, laundry to complete and yard work to finish. Sometimes they can do two things at once like fold clothes while helping with homework but quite often each duty demands a good deal of their time.
Grandparents have the freedom to do all these things when the grandkids return home and thus spend more time with the children doing some of those favorite things like fishing, reading, playing and baking.
I left the gym to pick up my granddaughter from preschool and felt my own jolt of pride watching her walk out of her classroom and smile sweetly at me. I can't wait for her to be in kindergarten next year and then I will be able to spend Grandparents Day with her.