Smile! You're a Grandparent!

   By grandparents  May 04, 2010

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?

Make a Comment

knudsond49 by knudsond49 | harker heights, TX
Jun 14, 2010

I love my children but i do know i missed out on a lot of things with my children that i can enjoy now with my grandchildren they are the greatest and you can try harder with your grandchildren were you messed up with your own children

steffyt by steffyt | Molalla, OR
Jun 01, 2010

I was a grandma at 36!!! I swear that is illegal somewhere! I love my grandson! I am Grammy, not Mom. My rules for him are as follows: I am in charge of NOTHING! Nutrition? What is that? Is that like Twinkies? Discipline? Who cares if he is standing on the table throwing food across the house? No one is getting hurt and the dogs are getting fed. I am sure you get the idea. If he is having fun and allowed to be a child, he gets away with whatever he is doing while he is at my house. It really is the best payback for your kids!

brimcgrail by brimcgrail | Clinton Twp, MI
May 26, 2010

I tell my friends all the time that being a grandparent is a special blessing...Our 4 year old grandson is a joy...probably because we spoil him...I can't wait for more....

StarNmoon929 by StarNmoon929 | Mount Morris, MI
May 25, 2010

My mom watches all of her 5 grandkids and loves every minute of it...the other day a guy asked if she ran a day care and how much it was....she laughed and said she runs her memaw daycare with love and cookies and he laughed and said

groundedmommom by groundedmommom | BALTIMORE, MD
May 23, 2010

this is one of the best parts of being a parent. I am fortunate enough to care for 4 of my 7 grandchildren on a daily basis so as the parents can continue with thier careers. I love the little arms around your neck, that 1st time they call you mommom etc. I think the most special part to me is when my nopw 5 year old grandson told me I was the bestest funnest mommom there is. I crawl under the diningroom table ( as it becomes a fort) or a (castle)..I have gone on bear Hunts in the livingroom, rescued my grandsons from alligators and helped my granddaughters get to the Ball on time..This part of my life is the most rewarding. My 14 yr old grandson said to me one time..I hope you stay to be a hundred because I will miss the fun and all the important things you have taught and given me. That makes me feel so good

freebiequeen by freebiequeen | palm bay, FL
May 22, 2010

Makes me smile all the time. Became more important than anyone or anything. I'd do anything for this toddler. She makes me laugh and keeps me busy. Can't wait to have another grand child. I adore her and loved watching her be born. Hoping my son and his wife have one soon too, I'll have to fly to be there on time. Wouldn't miss it for the world. Yes, I adore babies, wish I could go back to be in my 20's and start raising my kids all over again, WITHOUT having to work thought.

kaykay323 by kaykay323 | dayton, OH
May 19, 2010

I have to say AMEN to each of the above comments. I am a grandma to an 8 year old grandson and a 3 year old granddaughter. I am so blessed to be able to "babysit" them everyday while Dad, Mom and Grandpa go to work. The love, hugs, kisses, smiles, laughs, etc. are worth so much more than money! I am so fortunate that my husband is able to provide for us so that I was able to quit my job as a nurse to take care of these babies. I thank God each and every day!!!!!

bw8787 by bw8787 | bennington, VT
May 19, 2010

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

supermommy828 by supermommy828 | plainfield, IL
May 19, 2010

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

sims68 by sims68 | Poteau, OK
May 19, 2010

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!!!!!

princespeaches68 by princespeaches68 | madison, WI
May 18, 2010

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!

wadesrus by wadesrus | FARMINGTON, NH
May 18, 2010

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.

LoriLoriBear by LoriLoriBear | GREENVILLE, SC
May 13, 2010

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 .

loricm by loricm | Shakopee, MN
May 07, 2010

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!

msfriendly by msfriendly | MONROE, WI
May 05, 2010

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