We recently celebrated my grandson’s first birthday. It reminded me how fast time passes by and the precious nature of each and every moment. The moments that I spent with my grandparents as a young child made such an impact on my life, and I would love for my grandson to treasure our memories just as much, so I have tried my best to soak up as much time with him as possible.
Becoming a grandparent is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world. Compared with raising my own children, it’s so much easier to spoil grandchildren! It is all too easy to give into the constant urge to treat them to something special.
As a grandparent, I am learning that the greatest legacy I can leave my grandchildren is the memories we create together. I would love for my grandchildren to remember me not just for the gifts I give them, but for the time they spent with me and the love we share.
Those little deposits of time — teaching them and enjoying life with them — are true gifts worth far more than any money can buy, even though they don’t come wrapped in a shiny package with a big bow. These things are a true inheritance that will benefit their lives even after you are gone.
Sharing your faith and stories of God’s continued faithfulness in your family is one aspect of this inheritance. I pray that my grandchildren will grow to trust God’s faithfulness in their own life by seeing and hearing about it firsthand from both their parents and grandparents.
Another aspect of this inheritance is the tiny moments you spend with them. This may be a simple wagon ride, or the planting of a garden and playing in the dirt. Perhaps it’s watching Papa build a chicken coop or process a deer. Maybe it’s feeding the chickens, or feeling a farm fresh egg, or learning why eating rocks isn’t a good idea—even though they look so fun to try!
This inheritance may also just mean quiet time on the farm, sitting with the roosters as they work the summer garden land, being alarmed every time they make a loud crow to remind you they are there. It's also the giggles that come from the licks to the face of the family pet, or the lit-up face when daddy gets the four-wheeler out to go for a ride, or momma runs to tickle him.
Your moments may look different, but they are just that … your moments, and they are so important and precious. You can leave a large monetary inheritance to your grandchildren, but it is these little moments that will have an even bigger impact on their lives and their own children's lives.
Finally, when working to leave this inheritance, it is also important to remember that we are the grandparents, not the parents, and the respect of their rules and boundaries are very important. Discussing these is crucial to warding off any hard feelings. Most of the time, your children will be very appreciative of your willingness to invest in your grandchildren, leaving a legacy of love and memories rather than a stack of toys that one day will find their place in the donation box.
Leave an inheritance, leave a legacy! Let it be one of love and a lifetime of memories that won’t be forgotten.
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