SHESPEAKS Your Power to Influence

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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  • kaykay323 By kaykay323
    05.19.10  

    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!!!!!

  • freebiequeen By freebiequeen
    05.22.10  

    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.

  • groundedmommom By groundedmommom
    05.23.10  

    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

  • StarNmoon929 By StarNmoon929
    05.25.10  

    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 sorry...lol

  • brimcgrail By brimcgrail
    05.26.10  

    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....

  • steffyt By steffyt
    06.01.10  

    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!

  • knudsond49 By knudsond49
    06.14.10  

    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

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