Grandparenting – A Second Chance

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen you become a parent a few months after turning nineteen, it is painfully clear, getting married and having your name listed on a birth certificate as the father does not give you the tools you need to be a “dad.”

Seriously, that may be a shock for many men; but I am sure it is not to their wives and children. No one is more painfully aware of my shortcomings as a dad than our daughter and two sons.

Before anyone jumps to the conclusion this is a “poor me” and “how bad a father I was” confession, it is very clear I learned to do some things right over the years. I have said on several occasions the book (if ever written) would be entitled, “What a Heavenly Father Can Do – In Spite of an Earthly Father.”

If you look at our children, God grades on the curve, and I get a lot of credit for having a heart to be a good dad.

This brings me to a new season as a “Papa.” Some may wonder how I arrived at that title. When our first grandchild, Eliana, was born, our daughter decided to assign names or titles to all the grandparents to make it easy for her children as the grew up. She chose for me “Papa” because of my father-in-law, Cecil Blair. As a sidebar, she gave Eliana the middle name of “Blair” because it did not seem appropriate for her daughter to have the middle name “Cecil,” although she did consider it briefly.

Cecil Blair was always “Papa” for as long as I knew him. He was a remarkable man, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. For Lauri to choose the title “Papa” for me was special honor.

I am now the grandfather or “Papa” to five incredible grandchildren and adding two more.

All our children have stated I am a better grandfather than I was a dad. They are very quick to point out they are not saying I was a bad father. They are simply saying I am now doing better.

I have come to believe one of the ways to show my children how much I love and value them is not rehash how I wish I would have done things differently or make them relive all my mistakes I feel I made but to be a better grandfather to their children.

If I do better as a grandfather for their children, I acknowledge to them I am not done learning and I am willing to change.

I am sure our children, now all married, feel they should have done a better job training me as a dad. The fun part for them is they get a second chance to do better this time training me as a grandfather.

One key to grandparenting is remembering we are not too old to learn. With the right attitude, we can have a  major role in the shaping of our grandchildren and crazy enough, their children – children yet to be born.

God is the God of second chances. He proves it over and over again. He really shows His love and His sense of humor when he gives a guy like me the gift of being a grandparent.

4 Responses to “Grandparenting – A Second Chance”

  • Chuck this is so good. I’m going to share it over at my ministry page http://www.facebook.com/1Corinthians13Parenting

  • Chuck:

    Lori, Thank You. You are a great blessing.

  • “to show my children how much I love and value them is not rehash how I wish I would have done things differently or make them relive all my mistakes I feel I made but to be a better grandfather to their children.” To me, Chuck, this is powerful. What a moving vision to add eternal meaning to being a grandparent. I posted this quote on the wall in my study before I submitted my comment. Thanks for sharing your life with us. Dan Folden

  • Chuck:

    Pastor Dan
    Thank you for you comment an encouragement. We are launching our “Grandparenting” Seminar in March 2014, Never (Just) Babysit Your Grandkids. We should talk. Again, Thank You!!
    Phil 3:12-14
    In Christ
    Chuck

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