I write this post today for a very simple reason and that is because of the love of a grandparent. It is Amelia-Mae Natalie Scott’s third birthday. The date 5th November is known as Guy Fawkes Night and Bonfire Night and is often celebrated by having Firework’s Parties, but for me it is a reminder that on the 5th November 2012 I became a grandfather and my life changed for ever.
It is almost impossible to put into words the joy of having a precious little grandchild come running into your arms with hugs and kisses, and hearing the words ‘I love you granddad.’ Seeing the look that so clearly shows ‘I’ve missed you.’ Believe me, the smile that crosses my face, and the warmth that flows through my heart at these moments is like nothing else, it is simply the perfect moment. My life is not complete if I don’t get to see this little girl, and now her brother, every single week.
I know I will be the slave to my love for her for the rest of my life; my face will light up whenever I see her, I will chuckle over every photograph my daughter shares through Facebook, as I know I will be thrilled by every achievement she goes on to make throughout her life.
Already every cut and scrape feels like a major disaster, every new word like listening to a mastermind, and every moment spent in her company is like a blessing in my life. I really never believed I could love anyone as much as I do my two daughters.
I see my granddaughter and now her younger baby brother, Joshua Paul Laurence Scott, with perpetual awe and wonder, they are a blessing and provided me a pickup at very difficult times of my life. I sure those other grandparents see their grandchildren in the same light, and statistics tell me there are 13.5 million grandparents in Britain today.
There is something else I learnt from statistics. A grandparent for many children constitutes a positive and supportive adult in their lives. Overall, grandchildren appreciate time and engagement from their grandparents more than material gifts or expensive treats.
This can be summarised as:
The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith. Billy Graham
That does not mean that I’ll be returning her presents to the toy shop, because they are her reward for giving me such unconditional love in the past year, and being such a happy part of my life. Yet creating a legacy is something important to me, and leaving my grandchildren with a wonderful legacy is essential. In the book, 101 Ways to Love Your Grandkids, four different legacies that grandparents can pass along to their grandchildren were mentioned: the legacies of memories, faith, life, and love. To this I will also add two things, that being encouragement and wisdom.
My passion in life is writing. My dream is to be the author of best-selling books. As someone who writes on the subject of personal development, frequently talking about finding your wings and going after your dreams, perhaps this is the legacy I need to leave. Showing them to go for it, go for their dream, never accepting mediocrity, never accepting living a boring life.
If they want to travel … travel.
If they want to write … write.
If they want to paint … paint
This is one of the reasons, despite recent ill health, I refuse to stop blogging. Every article I write gives my grandchildren an opportunity to remember me, and not just for maybe the last years of my life, but for all those that came before which I will have written about. In the future I’ll also show them all the embarrassing blogs I’ve written about their Mummy or Auntie Car Car.
The legacy I will leave through my writing though must be matched by the best demonstration of love that I can give which is to make myself present in her life frequently so I am a major part of her life. Although not an interfering one, because she has great parents in Laura-Jayne and Colin and they take the main responsibility for her and also for her brother.
In a way this is a second chance for me. It’s my opportunity to make up for all the things I failed at so dismally as a parent. I wasn’t present enough with either of my children as they were growing up. I spent too much time working. Then the times of my financial struggles where I was highly stressed focused only on trying to find solutions, and working every hour to keep a roof over their head and food in their tummy where I became ‘Mr Grumpy’. So I have been granted a reprieve, this golden opportunity to give something magical back, to show my true love that is not just for my grandchildren but also my daughter from whom they have come.
Of course it’s easier with grandchildren, you get to send them home at the end of the day. Parents have the role of providers and disciplinarians, and I pray they are as proud with their end results as I am with mine. I may have been not the greatest dad in the world, but nor was I the worst, but Laura-Jayne the girl with a 2.1 university degree in Forensic Science & Criminology (did I say upper) has made something from her life and is a great mum, and her sister Carly is a truly lovely young lady who has successfully gone through her first year of a Nursing degree. So I am such a proud dad, and my legacy isn’t too shoddy up to now, and as a Grandparent I can just enjoy my grandkids for who they are in the moment.
I will finish with another statistic. One study of school-aged children found that if they were in charge of family vacations, their first choice would be to go to… grandpa’s house – “because it’s fun.” I may have made a small deletion to this sentence, which is my right as a divorced grandparent.
I’m a man with many defects. I love. I sing. I dream. I was born in the poor countryside. I was raised in the countryside, planting corn and selling sweets made by my grandmother. My children, my two daughters are with me and I want a better world for my grandchildren, for your grandchildren. Hugo Chavez
How do you want your grandchildren to remember you?
Happy 3rd Birthday to my beautiful, wonderful Amelia-Mae. Granddad loves you!