Your grammy came in for a surprise visit this past week. I mean, she called a few days before to make sure it was okay, so it wasn’t like that one time my friend Charlie called me at 7am and told me to come pick him up at LAX.
We had a busy weekend. We took her to a garden and a farmer’s market. Basically a lot of looking at plants occurred this past weekend. Busy, but not especially memorable.
Anyway, while she was here, I started with trying to figure out why they’re called grandparents and not something else. According to some forum I think I can trust, it comes from back in a time when everyone lived together and the eldest male was in charge. He was the grand parent, the chief, the head honcho.
Somewhere along the line, this role has shifted into something different. Maybe from one perspective, something different means something more miniscule. Grandparents are supposed to spoil their grandchildren. That’s their role, right? That’s what they’re supposed to do. Spoil their grandchildren and let the parents do the real parenting. Right? Naw, that’s not it. That doesn’t sound grand.
But maybe this is all from the wrong perspective.
I finally figured it out when your grammy gleefully sent me and your mother off to see a movie. (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Awesome.) Blue, I’m not talking happily. I mean GLEEFULLY. As in, shoving us out the door and throwing out the clothes of her carry on so that she could fit you in. That kind of gleeful. She could not have been any happier to spend a few hours alone with you, basking in your enormous reserves of cuteness.
That’s when I got it. For so long, I’ve only thought about grand parents from the role of the grand son, but now that I’m in the middle, it’s obvious. Parenting is a responsibility. Grandparenting, however, is a reward. I see it in the way your grammy dotes after you just as much as she wants and then hands us right back to us to change your diaper. It’s a congratulations for surviving long enough to see your children have children of their own, as well as doing a good enough job raising your children that they will allow you to see their children.
It’s like getting to eat sugar all the time without having to worry about diabetes or tooth decay or obesity or anything else. All the good, none of the bad.
And Blue, you are quite the sugary snack. Your grammy raised three boys. She deserves every second with you. Just as long as she doesn’t take you home.