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Smile! You're a Grandparent!

Smile! You're a Grandparent!

Being a parent was great, but being a grandparent is a lot easier. Read on as columnist Adair Lara reveals ten reasons to be glad you’re the grandparent now, because kids are even better the second time around.

 
1. No parenting groups.
And no bake sales, and no birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese’s. Instead of trips to the dentist, we take trips to the beach and throw sticks to the dog.
 
2. No math homework.
No new math, no "new" new math, no arithmetic at all. I remember my own Patrick at 9 years old with his head buried in his arms one night. He had to figure out the distance between Yosemite and Yellowstone parks. He showed me the problem. "Oh, I see," I said. But then there was a silence, and it was clear to us both that I didn’t see anything. "Why would anybody want to go straight to Yellowstone after Yosemite anyway?" I asked lamely. By 9pm the two of us were staring at each other with the sadness of those who have realized they’re related to idiots.
 
3. No stretch marks.
Well, no more stretch marks....
 
4. No making lunches.
Many schools now require you to send lunch in little reusable plastic containers, millions of which will overflow your sinks, cupboards, and car backseats, if my daughter’s home is anything to go by. Plus you can’t send kids to school with peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches anymore, which eliminates 98 percent of the lunches my own mother made, or supervised the making of.
 
5. Revenge.
My daughter’s lengthy adolescence routinely found me standing in the breeze blowing in from windows she’d just escaped out of, although she was already grounded. Now she has two little girls of her own, one of whom will be 13 after a mere half-dozen years flit by.
Which means there is a God.
Once, my then 2-year-old granddaughter Ryan ran off down the sidewalk, with my daughter in sweaty pursuit, and I watched with pure pleasure. "Awful when they just take off like that," I said, stifling a grin, when they came back.
 
6. The shopping.
You can buy all the noisy, irritating toys the kids love, not just Speak-and-Spells. I personally will not have a toy in the house that is in any way designed to "improve" my adorably imperfect granddaughters.
 
 7. Grandparent is not a job.
There are no fixed hours, no annual reviews, no clock to punch, no stress. You are a valued volunteer, one whose very presence conveys the message that this is work you would (and in fact do) provide for free.
 
8. They go home.
They don’t wake you at 3am, soaking wet, beaming, and wanting to play.
 
9. You’re off the hook.
You aren’t blamed if the kid doesn’t turn out well. Nobody ever lands on a therapist’s couch in grizzled adulthood and says, "My grandmother did this to me..."
 
10. The love.
As novelist Eva Figes, an English grandmother, has said, the difference between being a mother and being a grandmother is the difference between marriage and a love affair.
 
What do you love about being a grandparent?

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  • pjclayton57 By pjclayton57
    05.04.10  

    I love everthing! I told my boss that if I could make a career out of it, I would! Being a mom was the greatest, or so I thought until I had grandchildren! But, let's be honest here, part of that is because we don't have all the stresses we had when raising our children. We don't have to worry about feeding, clothing, schooling, bedtime woes etc. We get the best part, the cuddling, the laughing, and nothing but love! I enjoy my special time that I spend one on one with each of my 4 and I also enjoy the group fun (It's just not nearly as quiet)! And, to top it off, our children gain a whole new appreciation for us! I really think that's when the parent/child relationship takes on a very different meaning! Hug those babies!

  • basilandcatnip By basilandcatnip
    05.05.10  

    My grandma and great grandma were always my favorite in the world. They taught me so much about love, business, community and giving back.

  • msfriendly By msfriendly
    05.05.10  

    We can love them and then give them back and get a good night's sleep!

  • loricm By loricm
    05.07.10  

    I love our Granddaughter, she's 12 yrs old now and she becomes more fun every day. I was able to help take care of her for her first 10 years and loved every minute of it. That's what it's all about, family!

  • LoriLoriBear By LoriLoriBear
    05.13.10  

    I never knew how much I would absolutely Love being a grandparent.It is so much fun having a sweet little baby around and to see the world again through a child's eyes.When you are raising your own children you really do not realize how fast time flies and they grow up too fast .Grandchildren give you another chance to experience some of the precious moments you might have missed with your own kids .

  • wadesrus By wadesrus
    05.18.10  

    I love being a NANA.....Left my part-time job to be a stay-at-home Nana and can't believe how much I enjoy it...Of course I am alot less active than I was with my own children but wouldn't change it.

  • princespeaches68 By princespeaches68
    05.18.10  

    I love my grandsons! They are 2 1/2 and 1. They remind me so much of their daddy. It's fun living life thru them. I have a wonderfull grandmother so i remember how to be like her!

  • sims68 By sims68
    05.19.10  

    Words cannot express the love i have for my grandson. You love your own children dearly but that love of a grandchild is diffrent and so so special. Its like we slow down and really get to enjoy them better and experiance thier love in a whole new way. I wouldnt trade it for nothing!!!!!

  • supermommy828 By supermommy828
    05.19.10  

    my mother in law was adamant about having our son call her aunt. it was so awkward and rude, but the day he was born she smiled down at him and said "hi, i'm your grandma" so i guess she realized what a blessing it really is to be a grandparent

  • bw8787 By bw8787
    05.19.10  

    Being a grandparent is a gift my daughter gave me. But being included in their lives is even a greater gift:the excitement on my grandchildren's faces when they see me, the hugs and secrets, the snuggles at night and giggles in the morning, the announcements " I peed in the potty" "I talked at assembly in front of the whole school, did you hear me", the "private" phone calls that are really about nothing private, the visits-"can i stay longer this time-like a whole month"? What else could I ask for? I am so blessed

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