When As a Grandparent, You Are Asked If You Love The First Grandchild the Best

Blog.1.22.23. When As a Grandparent, You Are Asked If You Love The First Grandchild the Best

Returning to Fort Lauderdale on Jet Blue, our preferred carrier between New York and Florida,  a young father (and they are looking younger and younger to this Grandma) was walking up and down the aisle with an adorable baby boy, almost eight months old.  According to the father, they were headed to Florida to see both sets of grandparents.  The grandparents could not wait as the baby was the first grandchild on both sides of the family, the most precious gift in the world for them. I remembered a previous blog post about the first grandchild.  I told him I hoped for the grandparents that this jewel was the first of many, and shared how they would always love their first grandchild in a very special way.  Here is the grandma lesson to share with new grandparents I learned years ago when our now nineteen year old grandson was old enough to inquire.

When the first grandchild is born, it is a life passage event for the parents, but it is also a life passage event for the grandparents.  The entire dynamics of the family change.  We grandparents take second place, or might I suggest last place.

We grandparents now are at the mercy of the parents of our new precious grandchild, as the parents are the gate keepers.  Those of us who do not repeat this mantra do so at their peril.  Although we raised our children, and are therefore experienced at the job, we are “old timers,” and our methods and thought processes are not the current ones.  Let’s give the new parents a break.  We Boomers really raised our grandchildren in the dark ages of little information.  Today, the parents are on overload with the amount of information, much of it contradictory.

The parents are the bosses of our grandchild and we must do as they say.  Access to our grandchildren is dependent upon this.  We have to honor the gatekeepers.   I love the recent media coverage of the grandparents who balked at having to follow what they considered were restrictive and ridiculous rules of the parents at the hospital which went viral.  The parents rule, and their rules, however restrictive or ridiculous, must be followed.  I hate to think how little time and involvement they will have with the grandchild now that they have violated the cardinal rule of grand parenting: keep your mouth shut and your pocket book open.

This cardinal rule applies to grandparents and grandchildren too. We grandparents must successfully navigate grand parenting with our grandchildren.  If we are fortunate, we will have more than one grandchild, and each of them is special.

Please remember that our children survived us and our grandchildren will survive their parents.  We, on the other hand, want much more than bare survival with our grandchildren.

Yes, the first grandchild is very special.  He or she is our first.  We are learning our new place in the world and we are cherishing it.  We have time alone with that first grandchild, sometimes for years before a second arrives.  Every milestone reached, the first smile, the first word, is miraculous.  Everything the first grandchild says and does is new to us, as our parenting time was hard work and this time in our lives is pure joy.

The first grandchild is our compulsion.  We think, talk, and live this first grandchild.  We cannot have enough photographs and videos to share with anyone and everyone.  We have reached the pinnacle of life, the gravy, the best part of life.  We have no responsibility and all joy.

One of the reasons for the initiation of this blog was to guide new grandparents in maneuvering this new part of our lives.  If we are so fortunate, more grandchildren come and we are overjoyed at the multiplication of love and joy.

Then, one day, we are asked the question from the first grandchild, or, actually it is more in the form of a statement seeking affirmation:

“You do love me the best, don’t you, as I am the first grandchild?”

Yes, we were too stymied at this question.  We could not alienate any of the grandchildren.  We have to honor the grandchildren.  There comes a point in time when each grandchild becomes the gatekeeper of his or her time with you.  We have our arms perpetually open for our grandchildren and want them all to run into our arms knowing each one is most special to us.

We were ready to say that our hearts are full of love and we have lots of love and room in our hearts to love all of those important to us, especially all of our grandchildren.  That is the truth.

However, it is not going to satisfy our first self-important grandchild, who will keep asking for affirmation.  Nor will it satisfy the second, third, and so on grandchild who is convinced that you love the first grandchild the most.  Yes, they also ask.

Here is the best, the most absolute truthful, best, answer in the world.

We love you the LONGEST!  We will always love you the LONGEST!

We love the first grandchild the LONGEST!

A win-win!  The first grandchild does have a special place in our lives and we should acknowledge that special place.

The love we have for the first grandchild is THE LONGEST with



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