One of the things our children are experiencing that I never did is growing up around their grandparents.
I never really knew my grandparents, all of whom lived half a world away.
For instance, the only memory I have of my dad’s father is flying out to Malaysia a few days before he died and then attending his funeral. Although I can remember that day with remarkable clarity, from the clothes I wore to the hot, sticky humidity of an early summer’s day and the grittiness of the handful of soil I was given to scatter over his coffin. I was six. I have no conscious memory of ever seeing him alive.
Which is why every moment Isaac, Toby and Kara spend with their grandparents is something to be treasured. They see my parents pretty much every other weekend and the regularity of their visits has allowed them to form close relationships.
In particular, Kara has really bonded with her Grandma over the last 18 months or so. She loves dressing up and showing off for her, or persuading her to do her hair. And I think my mum, having raised two boys, appreciates having a small girl to fuss over.
Hopefully Kara is building up a memory bank of little moments in a way that I never had the chance to. And maybe one day I will contribute something to the memories of my children’s children.
I like the sound of that.