The Joys Of Being A Grandparent By Lola Smith Many of us have children whether they are little still or all grown up. If your children are all grown up, you might be blessed to have grandchildren by them. Oh, the joys of grandchildren! What makes the love for our grandchildren so different then the love we feel for our children? I don't know if this is the case for all grandparents, but it is for me. My daughter was a wonderful child. She was very sweet, lovable, never caused me any trouble as a baby, toddler, teenager or as a young adult. I love my daughter to the moon and back but what I find myself loving most about her, beyond my unconditional love for her, is the fact that she gave me grandchildren. And I love my grandchildren to the stars and back! When I think back to when my daughter was small, I was a single parent raising a child by myself with little but some support from her father. Life certainly was stressful back then. I was more concerned with keeping a roof over our heads and food on the table. We had our fun of course, but my focus was on raising her and teaching her right from wrong so she would grow up to be an independent and strong woman just like her mommy. She is just that ... independent and strong ... which means that I did do something right. Now that I have my grandkids, I find myself loving them so much that it hurts sometimes. They are the light of my life! They make me smile so big when I see them. They make me laugh because of the cute things they say or do. They make me want to live forever so I can watch them grown up, go to college, get married and have children of their own making me a great-grandmother. God willing, all of that is a possibility because I am young enough that I just might be able to live that long. When I have my grandkids, whether it is to babysit them or to take them on an outing, it's fun. I have no worries about keeping a roof over their heads or food in their mouths other than buying a churro at the fair or getting Slurpees at the local 7-11. I have no worries about having to raise them. The only worry I have is that the amount of fun we have is not too much for us to handle. I don't think that would ever be a problem. I don't have to worry about spending money buying school clothes every year, paying for after school programs, etc, etc. I can spend my money on buying them all the toys that they want. I can spoil them to no end! I will tell them stories about the good old days and will teach and scold when needed but for the most part, it's fun time. But to be perfectly honest, even though spending time with my grandkids is great, sometimes the best part about the time spent is when I hand them back to their parents. I am a grown adult who has already spent my time raising my child and frankly, at my age, the grandkids wear me out. No matter how much I want to run with them, I am reminded of the age difference and remember I am not the spring chicken I was when I ran with my daughter way back when. I know that everyone's family life is not the same as mine. Some grandparents may be raising their children's children for some reason or another. In my case, I am thankful that I play the role of a true grandparent and not a parent to the grandkids. It's a wonderful feeling being a grandma and I thank my daughter so much for giving me my three adorable grandchildren. And also for raising them with the love and care she learned from me as I raised her. When she is a grandma, she will know exactly what I am expressing.