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Being a "Grand" Parent
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I’m a brand new grandfather! My wife and I became grandparents for the first time about five months ago. I’m thrilled. There is nothing like it. I will have to admit that the thought of a “young guy” like me being a grandfather struck me sideways at first, but when my beautiful granddaughter was laid into my arms for the first time, all of that hesitation melted away.

I think grandparents play a very important role in the development of children’s hearts. Grandparents can be deeply influential in helping shape the personal worth of a child. Grandparents can communicate unconditional love like no one else. Sure, it can go to an excess and that should be avoided. But there is a special spot created in the heart of children that only Grandma or Grandpa can fill.

My maternal grandmother was perhaps the most influential person (next to my parents) in my young life. With four small boys, my mother was glad to have us take turns spending a week during the summer up at Grandma’s lake home. I still revel in the warm memories of catching fish, going for walks on sandy roads or watching baseball with Grandma on her old black and white television. If I ever wondered if anybody in the whole world loved me or would take time for me, I could always count on my grandmother.

Just Like Grandparents

But grandparents do not always have to be blood relatives. For many of us, we never even knew some of our grandparents because of death or distance. Yet, there can be special people, perhaps members in the family of God in your local church, who may be just like grandparents to you or your children. But keep in mind to follow safety guidelines when leaving your children alone with other adults. There are unfortunate events that can hurt your children. If you do not know others well, never leave your child alone with others.

I enjoy seeing our little granddaughter about once a week. She is only six months old and for a little while was hesitant to leave Mommy or Daddy’s arms. But gentle and loving interest has paid off. I love holding her and walking around the house looking at interesting little things to keep her occupied. She is so precious. I cannot imagine her not being a part of the family. After all, she is the one who introduced me to being a grand parent!

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By Curtis Rittenour. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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