1 Dec 2014

Making Your Parents Grandparents

My parents came to visit from Germany for a few days last week, and seeing them with Alex and Becky has made me realise just how immensely precious and meaningful the fact is that I have made my parents grandparents. Never ever have I seen them happier than when they’re playing with Becky or cuddling Alex, proudly looking on at THEIR GRANDCHILDREN.

It has both warmed the cockles of my heart and pained me to see how much they are doting on Becky and Alex. Because we live in different countries, they don’t get to see them that often. I try to go back to Germany two or three times a year, and my parents come over once or twice, but it will never be enough to make up for the times that they don’t get to be around them, and I know that they miss them terribly and miss being a bigger part of their every-day-life, which makes me feel terribly sad and guilty, guilty that I have chosen a life so far away from them.

While they were here, my parents tried to soak up every little minute with the kiddos, every little one of their characteristics and personalities and every little detail of their appearance, filling their memories and camera to last them until next time, whenever that will be.

Being an only child, I’ve always been acutely aware that you are your parents first and only shot at all major life experiences. First smile, first steps, first school, graduation, job, wedding etc. – as their only child, your parents will only ever experience this once, through you, and with that comes a degree of responsibility, a sense of having to grant them these moments.

At least this is how I’ve always felt.

Therefore, I’ve always been a bit of a good girl because of it, I suppose, even at my most rebellious as a teenager, I’ve always felt a sense of not wanting to let them down completely and not abuse their love and trust in me – basically not to screw up my life and shatter their hopes and dreams for me.

So I’ve always tried to make them proud, had the good grades and ambition, did the piano and violin lessons, went to uni, did an MA, had “nice” boyfriends, got a nice job and good career, had a lovely wedding  – you get the picture. And these were all momentous experiences in themselves, which I know have made my parents very happy and very proud of me.

But having given them grandchildren is the culmination of all of this and I don’t think this can ever be topped with anything else. And even though I can’t change the geographical distance between us, I know that I have made my parents happier and more fulfilled than I ever could have done with anything else, and for once that makes me proud and happy.

It gives me a sense that I’ve done good. 

Quite a lovely, liberating feeling, actually.


  1. This is such a heartwarming article Isa. I am currently supporting my little girls through the loss of their adopted 'Granddad Woods' (my step-father) and your life affirming and comforting reflections will definitely help us get through the next few days and weeks, Mandy x

    1. I'm so sorry to hear that, Mandy! I hope you and the girls and your Mum are ok and can get through this time. Thinking of you and sending all my love! xxx


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