by Susana Rosende
copyright 2003

Living in the United States, I didn't grow up with grandparents because all four of mine resided in Cuba. Although I briefly got to know one grandmother who was permitted to live her final years in the United States, there wasn't enough time for true bonding.

As a single mother, however, I have learned to rely on my parents and ex-inlaws for babysitting assistance. And although there may have been territorial wars at one time, I soon learned that the benefits of the grandparent/grandchild relationships far outweighed any friction.

Grandparents give unconditional love. They always take the grandchild's side, so they become a buffer and refuge from the disciplinarian parents. They also offer a sense of history and family ties that cannot be broken by the parent's divorce.

Watching my children bond with their grandparents has been a heartwarming experience. As a single mother, I am also grateful for the extra help they selflessly offer in caring for my children.

I will always encourage the special grandparent/grandchild bond.

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