At concerts when I perform, and in classes when I teach, I often see young children delightedly accompanied by a cherished grandparent, and I am always touched at how special these relationships are. I’ve also learned that, not only are grandchildren often accompanied by a favorite grandparent at an event, but they are also often receiving significant ‘grandparent childcare’ on a regular basis.
I meet many families where both parents work, and have reached out to their own parents to assist with childcare. And in many classes I teach, the number of children accompanied by a grandparent (as opposed to mother, father or babysitter) may represent up to half of the class. This seems an increasing number, and although I don’t know what the growing trend means, I do see that both grandparents and grandchildren clearly love being together!
Grandmothers do seem to come more often than grandfathers, (although not exclusively), and one grandmother attended my classes with three different grandchildren over a span of several years! She was an incredibly devoted grandparent and helped her daughter complete medical training while having children.
I feel it is a tremendously loving commitment that grandparents express when they give time and care, offering their wisdom, love, and experience – and these are qualities only a grandparent can share. One grandmother in particular attended my classes and concerts for years, and she has become a very dear friend. She continues to teach me many things about the love, patience and guidance a grandparent can bring, and I hope one day to share the same discovery with grandchildren of my own.