Mama in the City

A blog about raising my family in downtown Vancouver

Did You Grow Up With Grandparents?

Did you grow up with your grandparents as a part of your everyday life? Even though I didn't I still have tender memories of each set of grandparents. For the most part I really just had one grandma that I remember from my childhood and she lived in England. It was a special occasion when we saw her and the days together were filled with chocolate treats that she would bring over in her suitcase. She would allot one treat each day for each of us three girls. I remember counting out all of the treats on the first day of her month long stay. It looked like an amazing amount of Cadbury all piled together on the floor. There were always miniature Whispa bars, Flakes and fruit and nut bars alongside bags of Fox's Glacier Mints.

Ben and Josie have my parents, they call them grandma and papa, but they don't live right in town and we probably get to see each other every 4-6 weeks. My two kids also have my husbands mom, memere, who resides in sunny Florida and is always urging us to come and visit her. We only get to see her about twice a year but she is here for a visit right now!

Memere is staying in our apartment guest suite this week and is spending lots and lots of special time with Ben. While she hasn't hauled out any chocolates from her suitcase like my English grandma, she has bestowed Ben with a special present every single morning they are together. Today he was given a fork and knife set with Thomas the Tank Engine on it.

Reading books and sharing giggles

When I walk around my neighbourhood I see lots of grandparents helping to raise their grandchildren. Mums and dads go off to work and in lieu of daycare the grandparents are there helping to raise the babies. Most often the grandparents live in a nearby condo and a small community is built up that way. You have to be careful in Yaletown though, don't ever assume that an older woman taking care of 'little Jack' is his grandma. Trust me. It could very well be his mother and you will feel like a gigantic ass as soon as the words fall out of your mouth.

While I didn't see my own grandparents very regularly growing up I still feel that they left a positive impression on my life, especially my English grandma. I love looking at old photos of me with my grandparents and I'm really happy that both of my children will be able to have their own experiences with their grandma, papa and memere.


With all sets of grandparents in ONT, its not regularly that we see them, but we do get great visits in when we can! My mom is on her way out in two weeks and the girls have been counting down for weeks! Technology sure does help make connections to grandparents that much stronger! They call, facetime and skype with them all quite often! I love grandparents! Enjoy your visit with Memere!

September 5, 2012 at 10:47 PM  
Kristina said...

I rarely saw and barely knew my paternal grandparents, when my grandmother died I actually hadn't seen her in over 5 years and didn't feel much connection to the event. We saw my mom's parents all the time. When I was quite young we would always see them every Sunday and when my mom went back to work my grandmother babysat us on Mondays. When I was about 10 my grandparents moved to live just two blocks away from us and then we saw them pretty much every single day. Now in my 20s I still try to see them as much as possible though my grandfather now has Alzheimer's and my grandmother is doing chemo for the third time :( I hope that when I have children they will be as close to my mother as I am to my grandmother. Its a very special relationship.

September 7, 2012 at 7:01 AM  
Navigating the Mothership said...

We didn't see our grandparents much at all growing up and I felt a loss for that even then. I knew my cousins from one family went to stay with my maternal g-parents for a stretch in the summer - one at a time - and it seemed like the coolest thing ever. While my parents are not family oriented (and this is very sad and complicated and horribly confusing for me now that I'm a parent), I do desire to keep lots of family contact around my children, even if said family drives me CRAZY. And if it's not family, well, then I will create a family. My parents just moved here so I'm hopeful that means a closer relationship, but like I said earlier, things are really complicated.

September 7, 2012 at 7:46 AM  

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