Maybe Baby Boomer Grandparents are Headed in the Right Direction

As sure as Lassie always found a way to save the day and Perry Mason almost never lost a case, you and all your baby-boomer friends are just as cool now as you were when those legendary TV shows were in their heyday. So no matter how you may look to the outside world, you (today’s doting grandparent) still feel a lot like you (yesterday’s flower child).

Today’s grandparents were cutting-edge long before the phrase was invented, with our leather vests, tie-dyed T-shirts, Nehru jackets and fringed bell-bottom jeans. Our love beads were both fashion statement and philosophy, and we took to wearing headbands as naturally as we had worn class rings and circle pins.

Our heroes were Batman and Captain Kirk, but we wanted to be Julie, Linc and Pete on The Mod Squad. We knew Sean Connery was the ONLY James Bond, whether shaken or stirred, and we turned Easy Rider into a religious experience.

And the cool credentials go on and on…

But with vast numbers of younger people coming along behind us—not to mention the effects of gravity—it starts to sink in that we really are getting on in years. Of course the important thing is to focus on all the advantages of reaching a certain level of maturity, while doing your best to ignore the rest.

One benefit of coming this far is that we’ve mostly stopped worrying about what other people think of us. Whether you peaked early or were a late-bloomer boomer, everything’s evened out now. If only that wisdom had come in time to avoid all your teenage angst.

Now, just knowing that you’re the one and only Mommers or Poppers to those special little someones is more than enough to make your day. Your week. Your year.

So pass on all the wisdom you can by reading books like The Little Prince and Oh, the Places You’ll Go! to your grandchildren. Ask them to tell you about their hopes and dreams. Then share some of yours because kids should know that grammies and grampies have hopes and dreams, too. And not only when it comes to their grandchildren.

And don’t baby them too much, even if you would like to keep those tiny tykes young forever. When you play games together, for example, don’t feel you have to let the grandkids win all the time to avoid bruising their little egos. Before you know it, they’ll be beating you on their own anyway.

If it’s true you’re only as old as you feel, maybe baby boomers really will stay young forever. We’ve certainly done a good job of it so far, and having grandchildren is a step in the right direction.

Grandparenting is:

  • A reality show full of comedy, drama, action and suspense.
  • A bunny slope compared to the Mount Everest of parenting.
  • Proof positive that love at first sight really happens.
  • The job you would never outsource.
  • Why you’ll take even more pictures than Annie Leibovitz.
  • The opportunity to see your children in a new light.
  • Your perpetual excuse to go shopping.
  • The true test of your ability to hold your tongue.
  • The do-over all parents deserve.
  • More gratifying than you ever imagined.

 

Diana J. Ewing is the author of The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Grandparenting

 

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