Friday, October 27, 2006

Children and their grandparents

Does it seem like most of the families around you are waiting longer to start having children? I don't mean that to sound like a universally bad thing, sometimes it makes sense. But many of the people my age (35) that I work with and live around are just now thinking about having children, and I wonder what the consequences are if this is a large trend.

Growing up I didn't know my grandparents hardly at all. This was probably due to the age of my parents when I was born and some past family conflict. My frequent moves across the country have only increased the emotional distance with my extended family. I really don't know what I'm missing, but I think it's probably significant.

I wasn't smart enough to know beforehand that having children in my twenties would allow our parents and our children more years to know and enjoy each other, but thankfully it's working out that way pretty well despite the distance. If we were just now having our first child, like so many around us, I think our parents would be too old to enjoy them in the same way they have over the last decade.

While the age you become a parent might not matter, biologically, as much as it used to, it seems that age still matters very much for grandparenting. Family planning affects more than just parent and child, it strengthens or weakens at least three generations of your family.

"May you see your children's children!" Psalm 128:6

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Chris and I have often discussed the joy we feel over the hope of being a significant part of our grandchildren's lives and hopefully even our great-grandchildren! God has blessed us so abundantly! We love being young parents.

I went to a new playgroup yesterday that consisted of about a dozen moms and their <1-year-old children. I was one of only two moms less than 30-something-years-old, and I was the only one with more than one child. It felt odd (and unfortunate!) to be the youngest mom with the most experience! It's becoming harder and harder to find the older, wiser moms who have "been there done that" to help and encourage us younger moms!

Waiting longer to have children can also affect family size (not to mention one's ability to have them at all - female fertility begins to decline around age 28!). Chris just recently read a statistic saying that less than 9% of Americans live in a home of 5 or more people.