I have long been concerned to ensure I’m not pressuring my own sons to replicate. There’s 7.6 Billion people on Earth which, to me, sounds like enough- with just 12 of them owning some 70% of the world’s wealth (that’s 12 individuals – NOT 12% of the people). That kind of inequity surely can’t prevail. Perhaps one of my sons will have a hand in its patently necessary resolution (revolution?). Or perhaps it’ll be one of my grandkids?
Maybe one of my grandchildren will engineer the solution to global warming? They will have to face into that problem after all.
Being a life-long Utopian, I can imagine that the World will become a better place. Problems of climate, economics and politics can and will be resolved by Human ingenuity.
Anyway, whilst it might be nice to imagine such possibilities, they are not the reason why it is satisfying to be a grandparent. No.
The real reason is that grandchildren demonstrate to the grandparent that they, the grandparent, didn’t completely stuff up their own children! Indeed it has come as a great relief to me that those of my sons that have produced ‘offspring’ appear to be exceptional parents . They chose their wives wisely, too. My kids seem to be much better at parenting than I was. I take this as evidence that I didn’t completely ‘fuck them up ’ to paraphrase Philip Larkin. It may also be a measure of the value of their genetic makeup (maybe I chose their mother wisely too?).
Anyway, the grandparents task is to witness this. This is evolution. Important? Yes!