Monday, May 10, 2010

A Grandmother's Role

Posted by Terry McNichols

Piggybacking on Leona's Mother's Day post, I too reflect on the added layer of joy that our five grandchildren bring to our lives.  Here are a couple of grandparent stories I'd like to share:

Heard in the aisle of Fred Meyer, 2 children discussing the fact that a grandmother who had been visiting had just left.  1 child telling another:  "Well, you can't have that because you don't have a grandmother to buy it for you!"  

Zella, our oldest grandchild (age 5, almost 6) called us on the phone the other day.  "Ahma, ask me what I'm going to do today."  Okay, I agreed, "What are you going to do today?"  Zella:  "I don't know.  I'm ambivalous!"  Hope she had a fun "ambivalous" day!

Gavin, also age 5+ spends most Friday mornings with me.  He runs in the door and says "UNO!!!!"  I agree to a "few games" and we spend the next 2-1/2 hours straight playing Uno, with just a few minutes off to play a round of Phase 10 for kids or WigOut.  But Uno is always the game of choice at this stage.  I think our record is 27 games non-stop. Then I prepare him a lunch of "dinosaur-shaped pbj sandwiches" and this time I cut an apple with my new fancy cutting tool.  It looked like a pair of eyes, so we topped the apple pieces with strawberries for eyeballs, a blackberry nose and sliced strawberry mouth.  "Ahma," says Gavin, "You're SO MUCH NICER than my mom and dad!" 

Now, in reality, I'd love to have just let that comment stand on its own, but I took the opportunity to teach Gavin something and explained to him that actually, that's what grandparents are for!  I told him that I was once a parent, just like his mom and dad, and I wasn't nearly as nice as I am now.  I explained that his parents have to go to work and earn money to take care of him and his baby sister and they have lots and lots of responsibilities that I no longer have.  I told him I don't have to make sure that he does his chores or goes to bed on time.  I get to do only the fun parts.  I did a great sales pitch, all the while happy that he saw me in such a light.  I opted not to pass that comment on to his parents, but alas, they might just read it here. 

But it did, however, remind me once again of just what a great job description most of us grandparents have.

One day Gavin looked at me long and hard and said, "Ahma, are you OLD?"  Well, that's the downside unfortunately....

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