Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Monday, October 24, 2016

going home

 There are times when I am inspired to write a blog about something that is obvious, yet remains hidden. That happened yesterday morning. A friend and fellow blogger was writing about having a sleepover with her granddaughter. She mentioned how much of a handful young ones can be and they can become exhausting. I understood completely what she was talking about. I also understood the sentiment about you love to have them around,  but are glad when they go home ! It takes a grandparent to fully comprehend that statement. And it was a bit of " light " that illuminated something in the reaches of mind. An understanding, or more properly, an explanation for that feeling. Grandparents, well some grandparents anyway, know that less is more. By offering love, kindness and understanding we inspire the children. We show them the positives in life. We also offer compassion, understanding and guidance. We are also wise enough to know that we should limit their exposure. No one is capable of sustaining those qualities 24/7. That is why it is wise to send them home. That is the function of parents ! Let them be exposed as human, not us. We grandparents are the stuff of legend and lore. Grandparents are associated with love and understanding, not discipline. Yes, we will enforce what their parents impose, but imply it is the parents fault, not ours. " What did your Mother say ? "  Yeah, grandparents are sneaky like that.
 Oh I know that not every situation is the same. I write from my perspective. We all wish our parents were like our grandparents ? Didn't you as a kid wonder how come Mom and Dad were so mean ? I mean, they were raised by these terrific folks ( our grandparents ) so why should they be so different ? Hey grandma didn't care if I spilled a little milk or tracked mud in the house. That's alright dear, I'll just mop it up, no harm done. At home you'd think the world was coming to an end and half of Africa would be going without milk ! You certainly knew that money didn't grow on trees but grandma always had a few extra dollars. ( shhh ) Mom isn't to know that secret. I wondered why Grandma always hid that from Mom ? Will Mom spend it on nonsense like she says I always do ?  Must be one of those grownup things. Grandma was always saying, let the kids be kids ! Mom was always saying, grow up and be responsible. And Dad, well he was the enforcer at my house. All it took was a whisper from Mom and that was it. You're guilty, case closed and punishment administered. Now grandpa could occasionally be tough, or at least pretend to be, until grandma intervened. I was never real sure about him.
 I do believe whether it is a conscious thing or not that is the explanation. That is why grandparents are glad to send those precious little children home. Once they are out of earshot we can let loose. Darn kids are spoiled ! And they get more than I ever had and don't appreciate a thing. Why if they were mine. I raised their parents better than that, what are they teaching them. But, we can't wait to see them again. When they run up to you and smile, their eyes bright and say, Grandpa, it all disappears. Grandchildren are like having a second chance, a do-over of sorts. We see the future in them and the future looks bright. After a while storm clouds begin to form and it is time to seek shelter. See you later, alligator - after a while crocodile. As Scarlett pointed out, " after all, tomorrow is another day. "
 Funny thing is each time they come back, they are older. Our kids didn't do that, they did it overnight. Grandchildren do it in stages. We are aware and mourn the passing of each stage. If only they could only stay little. The little ones are easy. As they grow older the friendship is harder to keep. It is not their fault, it is that you are old. Very difficult to be " cool " when you are from another century ! I remember waking up to find my own parents weren't " with it. " You still like them but don't want to hang out with them, or be seen with them if it could be helped. Oh, they could be useful when you needed a ride or something but for the most part, stay away. Well at least grandparents can be excused. There friends " get it " with old people, that is just the way we are. And grandparents do know when to back off ! We do it more for our own peace of mind than giving the kids space. They, of course don't know that, another sneaky Grandparent thing. We are great on putting the spin on stuff like that. That is probably because we practiced on our parents.
 Being a grandparent is a wonderful thing, not doubt about that. We get to enjoy those kids, in moderation. We do know that " all things in moderation " is the wisest path. We love to see them come and encourage them to come back. We do explain to them how they have to " go home " because their parents want to see them too ! It wouldn't be fair for them to stay here all the time. What we don't tell them is, it is an effort to be grandpa all the time. It doesn't just happen by accident ! It does require patience. A quality most old folks are lacking. We're tired of waiting and just want to get on with it. Why else would we get mad about waiting for our doctors apt when we are retired and have nothing else to do ? Kids can try your patience. Time to go home.