When we are out and about I often get into conversations with people. This week, while we were camping at Sherando Lake, I spoke briefly to a grandmother who was pushing a little girl in an umbrella stroller. The child looked like she was about two. She was a serious child. I asked her if she had her grandma wrapped around her finger and she nodded solemnly.
I mentioned to the grandmother how much I enjoy our grandchildren. She replied, "I have one and that's enough." How sad, I thought.
My response was, "How can there be too many flowers in the grandma garden?" And then we walked on. But it was a sad conversation to me. I have no idea what's going on in her family. Maybe she is the primary caregiver for this little girl and resents it. I once met a grandfather in the grocery store carrying an infant. When I admired the little girl, he shared that she was born out of wedlock and maybe it would have been better if she had been aborted. "Oh you don't mean that," I replied gently, "Just look at that beautiful child."
These conversations amaze me - first that people will tell intimate details of their lives to perfect strangers. And secondly, that a grandparent will reflect, again to a stranger, such negative attitudes toward their grandchildren.
Pray for all grandparents, especially those who are spending their golden years parenting their grandchildren when they should be spoiling them. May God give them strength, energy, and, above all, joy in the wonder of childhood.