‘One of the best things in life’

Published 4:44 pm Saturday, September 12, 2009

Jean and Harold Boverhuis are proud grandparents.

They enjoy giving their grandchildren too many cookies and hosting everything from two-day Christmas celebrations to Sunday afternoons after church.

They have grandchildren in the double digits — 10 of them — which means lots of laughs and lots of groceries.

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“We have some who like cookies, some who like Doritos and some who like those frozen popsicle things, so when we go shopping, the list goes on,” Harold Boverhuis said.

Today is National Grandparents Day, a celebration started by a West Virginia housewife in 1970.

According to www.grandparents-day.com, Marian McQuade’s primary motivation was to champion the cause of lonely elderly in nursing homes. She also hoped to persuade grandchildren to tap the wisdom and heritage their grandparents could provide.

The Boverhuis couple has plenty of it.

The Lansing residents have been married 45 years, wrote faithfully while Harold Boverhuis was in the military and raised five children on the same Lansing land they live on now.

“Awesome,” said Bridget Sheely, of her parents.

Jean and Harold Boverhuis talk together naturally — and smile quite often — as if they’ve never had a disagreement in the past four decades.

“Lots of discussion,” Harold Boverhuis said, when asked about the secret to a long marriage. “Lots of visiting and just being considerate to each other’s emotions.”

On Friday, it was another family gathering at the Boverhuis household.

Five of the grandchildren were there, running around, climbing trees and chasing a kitten that hadn’t been named yet.

“It’s one of the best things in life, that’s all there is to it,” Harold Boverhuis said, of being a grandparent.

The grandchildren range in age from 21 to almost 1 and include 4-year-old Ezra, who likes to include his middle name, and 8-year-old Faith.

“I like to help grandma and grandpa build and once in a while I help grandma sew,” she said.

The feelings are mutual.

The grandparents love spending time with their grandchildren and vice versa.

“They give us a lot of great times, happy times,” Harold Boverhuis said.

Marian McQuade would approve.