As I sat in a fast food outlet a couple of weeks ago, having my late lunch, I saw the grandfather-grandchild pair at their usual places. Grandpa is deeply engrossed in his newspaper, grandchild is doing his homework. I’ve seen them here more than a few times over the past few months, so I can only conclude that they are regular here.
One may jump into the conclusion that grandpa is not feeding his grandchild “properly”, so to speak. Some self-righteous parents may judge grandpa, or even grandchild’s parents. But I just witnessed a moment of tender exchange between grandpa and grandchild. They had a conservation with sincere smiles exchanged. All the time that they’re here, grandchild is very well-behaved and keeping himself occupied with reading and doing his homework.
I do not know their whole story, as to why they frequent this fast-food outlet regularly, why they do not have home-cooked meals, where are daddy and mummy, when, etc. But when I saw that moment of tender exchange between grandpa and grandchild, I realize that raising a child is not about hovering above him all the time. Eating right is very important, none can deny that. But being raised emotionally healthy is of equal importance. A child needs to have the opportunity and freedom to explore and create meaning about all that is going on around him. Our roles and responsibilities as parents or caretakers are to provide the guidance and support, whenever and wherever they are required. As to when such guidance and support are required, and how much to be given, varies from child to child and it is the parents’ wisdom to discern.
God chose specifically us to be the parents to our child(ren); it is no accident or coincidence. It is a plan and God makes no mistakes in His plans. Therefore, sit back, learn to let go when we could and be ready to step in when we should.