“Extended family should lend support when needed.” The Family: A Proclamation to the World
A month ago today, I became a grandma. I have plenty of friends who have crossed the bridge to grandparenthood, but nothing could have prepared me for the feeling I had when I first heard the cries of my sweet little grandson as my ear was pressed to to the wall of my daughter’s room from my side of the waiting room. He was finally here! I have thoroughly enjoyed the past few weeks of holding and caring for this cute boy!
Elder Neal A. Maxwell called grandparents the “strategic reserve” in families (1997, p. 146). Grandparents have also been called “the Family National Guard” (Hagestad, 1985). What a perfect concept to what a grandparent should be! Parents have the primary responsibility to nurture and provide for their children, but grandparents can offer support and help when needed, giving more when requested by the children and holding back when lessons need to be learned or space needs to be given. As my daughter has acquired the role of mother, I have loved watching her nurture and love her son. When she needs help, I indeed have felt like the National Guard, swooping in to offer support, advice, and assistance. “[Grandparents] provide great strength and stability to families by being available to help when needed. This anchor provides a sense of security to adult children, knowing that their parents are there to help if they are needed” (Hawkins, 2012, p. 179). I’m sure more grandchildren will join the family in the coming years and I look forward to loving and welcoming them to the family, offering support when needed, but hopefully, always serving as an example of love and righteousness.
How grateful I am for families and the plan of our Father in Heaven! One grandma told me a few months ago that when you hold your first grand baby, life come full-circle—you can better glimpse eternity. And eternity means the family! As I reflect on the feelings I have for my own grandparents, I am happy to take on this role and hopefully be an influence of good to the posterity that will follow me. Being a grandma is one of the better things in life!
Hagestad, G.O. (1985). Continuity and connectedness. In V.L. Bengston & J.F. Robertson (Eds.), Grandparenthood (pp. 31-48). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.
Hawkins, A.J., Dollahite, D.C., Draper, T.W. (Eds). 2012. Successful Marriages and Families: Proclamation Principles and Research Perspectives. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University.
Maxwell, C.H. (Ed.). (1997). The Neal A. Maxwell quote book. Salt Lake City: Bookcraft.