We are babysitting our three granddaughters this weekend. We volunteered for the job, since our daughter in law is recovering from surgery. These girls are magical, and a joy to spend time with. The youngest, Sawyer, turned a year old a couple of months ago. The oldest, Pepper, just turned six. The middle child, Amelia, is… well, I guess we’ll say “strong-willed”. Her parents will not be offended by my remarks. They know about it already. It reminds me of the old adage:
Don’t pray for patience. If you do, God will send you a situation that requires it.
We are empty nesters, and close to retirement. It is obvious to us at times like these that people are meant to have children when they are young. It is exhausting! But being a grandparent is so much more fun than being a parent. I had four children in five years. That was a lot of work, too. But I was in my early twenties when I started on the project. Although my marriage didn’t go the distance, those kids sure did.
My kids used to ask me when they were little, “How come grandmothers are so nice, and you are so mean?” I told them that “a grandmother only has one job, which is to love you”. Parents have to make sure that you’re healthy, clean, well-behaved, successful, educated, and happy. Babysitting grandchildren is something you can do on a part-time basis. Parenting is an intense, day by day experience. You don’t get many breaks, and when you do, you don’t know how to act.
I watched over one of my grandsons, Carl, for a longer stretch than usual this past Summer. My daughter had a hard time accepting that he had Cocoa Puffs for his lunch one day. She had expected him to have chicken and broccoli. I just let him have what he asked for. It’s not like he’s allergic to Cocoa Puffs. At the end of our week-long adventure, my daughter made the observation that I wasn’t a rule maker. I’m not… I’m a grandmother!
My oldest grandchild, Felix, told me a few months ago that I had the least amount of “swag” out of everyone in our whole family. When he has more than a dozen grandparents, that puts you pretty low on the swag chart. It’s okay. I know I’m cool. It does make me try harder, though. That’s why I own stock in the PEZ company. Amelia asked me today, “do you have one of those plastic things with the candy in it?” I’m famous for having PEZ on hand, but got caught short on dispensers today.
Oscar will be three in May. He’s my mini me, blonde hair and blue eyes. The last time he saw me he said “Gigi, I missed you so much”. His Mom said he told Santa that too. I hope he doesn’t tell everyone that, because I felt really special in that moment.