Grandparenting 'by love'

by Kathy Parsons

When our daughter and son-in-law shared the amazing news that after a long 5 year wait they were pregnant I was thrilled!   However, when someone said “You’re finally going to be a grandmother!” I knew that wasn’t entirely correct. 

I was already a grandmother – I had been a grandmother attached ‘by love’ for many years.  Soon I would be a grandmother attached by blood, but through friends and neighbours I had taken on the role of ‘grandmother’ several times in my life.

I’ll tell you about one of my ‘grandkids’.  When we moved to Vancouver and I met my neighbour’s daughter (who was 7 at the time) she and I hit it off right away.  Her name was Tuka and her grandmothers both lived on the other side of the world.  So I became her near-by grandmother.   And soon, her grandmother attached by love.

We worked together on her homework, we baked and cooked, we did crafts and played games together.  I felt happy as she recounted her days to me and told me about her friends and she felt happy as I gave her my undivided attention, the way a grandparent is meant to.

 I experienced giving and receiving the same kind of love God has for us – unconditional love.  

Tuka is now grown and married and I am so glad to have shared in the significant milestones in her life; like the day she became a Canadian, her graduation of high school and college, meeting her boyfriend who later became her fiancé and recently her husband – all the wonderful events a grandmother loves to be part of.  But besides those special events there were so many normal, regular days where I just looked forward to seeing her beautiful face. 

My relationship with Tuka showed me that this kind of grand-parenting (attached by love) can be just as strong, just as important and just as joyful as grand-parenting by blood.   I highly recommend it!


with Sandi Smoker

You are invited to join us for a webinar series to explore “The Art of Grandparenting”, led by Sandi Smoker.

Sandi was birthed into the world of grandparenting in 2010 which in the last decade grew to include 7 grandchildren.  Over this same decade, Sandi entered into graduate studies with Regent College, working toward an MA in Theological Studies.

As she considered a topic for her final project she began to wonder what God had in mind for the grandparent/grandchild relationship, and she began seeking out scholars who thought deeply on the topic. To her surprise, Sandi walked into the land of fairy tales – George MacDonald’s fairy stories to be exact. MacDonald was a 19th century Scottish poet, novelist, fantasy-creator, and pastor who inspired writers such as C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, and Madeleine L’Engle.

She discovered that MacDonald’s character, the divine grandmother, resonated with the invitation she felt drawn to; that of mirroring God’s tender grandparenting heart to her grandchildren.  This led to the completion of her degree with an integrated project entitled, the Art and Theology of Grandparenting.

This project will be the foundation of our 3-week webinar series which begins on Saturday, January 30th at 10am for 2 hours, continuing on February 13th, and February 27th.

You are invited to join us – using story, conversation, and expression – as we explore first-hand, the experiences, learnings and wisdom of grandparenting.  Together we will consider the legacy that is ours to offer all grandchildren born of love and blood.

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About the author

Kathy loves kids, writing (plays, poems and stories), acting and directing.  She and her family have lived in a couple of interesting places in the world (Cyprus and Germany) plus many places in Canada (Vancouver, Halifax, Chilliwack, Toronto, Kingston and Petawawa).  With a husband of 41 years, two children, one grandson (by blood), and several grandkids (by love), she considers herself blessed to be surrounded by so much love.

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