There is a creek that runs through my granddad’s farm where we learned to swim. My dad swam there himself as a child. My memories of swimming there with my brothers are priceless. I mentioned taking my kids down there and Dad flipped out. “Do you have any idea how many snake are down there” he says.
Now, snakes did not just start to inhabit creeks. The ecosystem specific to the farm had not undergone any such radical change in the span of a generation. Why, then, did enjoy taking us to the creek, but only saw danger in his grandchildren doing the very same? I have dozens of these examples that I could share. My Dad enjoyed seeing us be adventurous. He is adventurous. He actually flew a balloon over Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa for heaven’s sake!
I can’t believe that my children’s’ wellbeing is more precious to my father than mine was. Possibly, through experience, you are made more aware of life’s perils. Maybe, as a grandparent, you are not burdened with a child’s everyday care and development and are, therefore, inclined to shrink the possibility of variables in their life.
I genuinely do not know the answer. My heart swells with pride when I see my children pushing their boundaries. I believe that they don’t want to get hurt anymore than we do and you don’t grow by drawing the same life pattern every day. I wonder if I too will abandon that attitude in favor of caution as a grandmother..