There something unique about the relationship between a grandfather and granddaughter.
He's an authority figure, like a father. But, unlike a father, to children, he has the perceived wisdom of someone who has been there and done it all. There's also a certain reverence and politeness that granddaughters offer their grandfathers that they don't always give to their parents.
As I watched my daughters interact with my father this past weekend, I was struck by the fact that I lost the only grandfather I knew at age 13. I thought about how lucky they are to have the opportunity to get to know their grandfather. Despite the fact that he lives several hundred miles away, he makes a big effort to visit them, and we always share a family vacation together every summer.
As they're getting older and reaching new milestones, my dad has become very interested in their futures. He and my older daughter have talked at length about her college choices. He may be more involved than she would like, but I think she values his opinion. Like me, this is the only grandfather they have ever known. Their beliefs and opinions about grandfathers revolve around him.
I feel certain that when they become adult women, they will remember the times they spent with him and the wisdom he imparted. In my opinion, it's just another part of the village that surrounds our children - the other love relationships they have that contribute to their development and their life success.
I am proud of my stoic, traditional dad for how he has worked to develop a valuable relationship with them, one that I truly believe has made their lives richer for it.
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.