Grandchildren are the icing on the cake any time of the year, but they provide that extra special zing during the holidays. They make the turkey a little juicier, the candles a little brighter and, yes, the pumpkin pie with whipped cream a whole lot messier.
When you recall your life before grandkids, it was calm and predictable. You had everything under control. Now you’re always in the middle of some kid-centric project, you’re frequently barraged with last-minute babysitting requests, and you’re constantly surrounded by chaos whenever your children’s children are present. Think The Brady Bunch meets Camp Runamuck…on steroids. And you wouldn’t have it any other way.
You used to long for retirement so you could travel the world. Now those little tykes reel you in like a playpen full of mini-magnets, and you find yourself wanting to just hang around and see what happens next.
You’ve traded your linen tablecloths for plastic placemats, and those interesting new stains on the dining room chairs seem to be multiplying. Maybe that fingerpainting lesson wasn’t such a good idea.
Remember when Netflix sent you art films and those R-rated HBO and Showtime series you were always trying to catch up on? Ahhh, The Sopranos, Weeds and Deadwood. These days you’re renting Wall-E and Madagascar to watch with your grandchildren and discovering that these movies are pretty entertaining for grown-ups, too.
There’s just no contest when you weigh the advantages of your old life against all the perks of grandparenthood. Such as story-time cuddles, gap-toothed grins, or the absolute pleasure of being with a child you can return at the end of the day.
It’s a fact: When you’re lucky enough to be a grandparent, the list of things you’re thankful for is never-ending. How many of these possibilities can you identify with?
● You held baby Emerson for the very first time.
● You found your son’s eyes in little Jacob’s face.
● Enrique got a tooth.
● Riley came to stay overnight.
● Samantha wrote you a poem.
● Enrique lost a tooth.
● Riley went home after staying overnight.
● Noah called you Pop-Pop.
● Mia picked you a flower.
● Owen told you a secret.
● Brianna asked you to kiss her boo-boo.
● Lily and Jayden said they’re thankful for you.
Diana J. Ewing is the author of The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Grandparenting