Bonds Special Between Child, Grandparent
As summer approaches, many families are planning vacations, which may include reunions, visiting relatives, and perhaps letting children visit their grandparents.
Memories come flooding back to me of a time in my childhood when my younger brother and I spent a whole summer with our grandparents.’
We were living in a city where the polio epidemic, for which there was no known cause or cure at the time, was taking its toll on hundreds of individuals, mostly children. My grandparents lived in a small community in another state where the epidemic was largely absent.
The walk from my grandparents’ house to town was a few short blocks. The town square consisted of about two dozen businesses, my favorites being the dime store and movie theater. It cost 10 cents for a matinee. The theater’s evaporated water cooler interior was a refuge from the afternoon heat, which often exceeded 100 degrees.
There was no television station in the town and no TV in my grandparents’ home. One of the evening rituals was sitting in front of a large Philco radio and listening to the announcers expound on world and national news. My grandfather, who was very hard of hearing, sat with his head very close to the speaker as Gabriel Heater boomed forth with his interpretations of the day’s events. Later, we would listen to Amos and Andy, Fibber McGee and Molly, and, of course, the Lone Ranger.
We often listened to our favorite programs as we enjoyed homemade ice cream that had been hand-cranked earlier in the afternoon, of one of my grandmother’s cherry pies.
Air conditioning was unknown to us, and bedtime was postponed until the evening breezes became cooler and allowed the sun-baked surroundings to gradually give up the stored heat. A large attic fan pulled the evening air through the screens and across the honeysuckle plants beneath the windows.
Before going to bed we often sat in the backyard of my grandparents’ home to watch the fireflies and listen to my grandfather’s stories of his boyhood days. He died in 1985 at the age of 100, so those stories contained true elements of frontier days. Since most nights were cloudless and they lived near the edge of a dimly lit city, the stars shown brightly and we had many lessons in astronomy on those wonderful summer evenings.
Many children miss the opportunity to be with relatives, especially grandparents. This special relationship between a child and a grandparent can be very rewarding for both. It provides the freedom to say and do things not possible with parents. The old saying is that a reason a child and his grandparents get along so well is because they have a common enemy.
Whatever the bond is between the, it is special and shouldn’t be overlooked or taken for granted. If you are a grandparent, consider a “special visit” for your grandchildren this summer. It will be a memory-filled time.
Harold H. LeCrone, Jr., Ph.D. Copyright © 1992