I recently returned from a week in Germany with my daughter, who is married to an army officer, and their three children aged seven, five and nearly two.
People have always told me there is something very special about being a grandparent and I agree.
I met an old friend and asked him if he had grandchildren. “Yes”, he answered, “but we never see them”.
His eldest son went to the USA, got married to an American girl and they had three children.
Later, they divorced, and the son returned to the UK. All communication has been lost.
Divorce can have tragic results for grandparents too.
Is the joy of being grandparents because you can have the love without the responsibility?
But I do have a responsibility to my grandchildren – especially as my wife, who would have been a wonderful grandma, died after a short illness seven years ago.
I can help financially. But in other ways too. They look up to me, love and respect me.
I have to be careful not to undermine my daughter’s authority but I have an important role just to be myself, which is a bit scary.
Little children watch you all the time. They don’t miss a trick!
I hope I can be a good influence but in the end its all about giving unconditional love.
And thank God for Skype!
Column by the Canon Brian Davis