This I Believe

Mike - Bowling Green, Kentucky
Entered on November 29, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65

Grand Children are a wonderful invention. Whether you have one or a dozen, they provide grandparents with so much joy. Grandchildren are the proof your family will continue for at least a couple of more generations. Take me for instance. I’m an only child, but my wife and I are anticipating the birth of our ninth grandchild. We’ll soon have enough for our own baseball team.

Sharon and I are the Brady Bunch. Almost twenty years ago, we combined our families with two children each to have a wonderful new family of six. Instantly our children decided they were thrilled with their new brothers and sisters. It was their parents they weren’t too happy about. And typically the four kids conspired to make our lives very challenging. Despite their efforts to thwart ours, all four have grown up to be healthy, happy, and successful adults with families of their own.

I don’t remember exactly what Sharon and I said in the “Sex Talk” as the kids were growing up, but it must have been powerful. As I said, we are about to have grandchild number nine. The grandkids range in age from two to thirteen. Christmas is going to be hectic this year as the two year old twins come into their own for the Santa season along with their two three year old cousins. The five and six year olds will keep the others stirred up. It will be joyful chaos.

But it’s the thirteen year old who has given me a twisted joy of late. As I already mentioned, all four of our children were especially challenging teenagers. At one point, all four were in their teens. They grew up in the era of “Whatever!” It took all our self control not to give social services cause to step in when their eyes would roll and the huffing sighs issued forth at a parental edict.

Recently, our thirteen year old granddaughter and her mother were discussing a fashion statement this beautiful grandchild had made. My daughter, whose fashion sense when she was a teenager might have made Britney Spears blush had not her parents stood fast, was explaining inappropriately chosen attire to her progeny. I suddenly heard my normally calm and patient daughter say in an angry voice, “Don’t you dare roll those eyes at me!” I turned to hide a smile while Sharon ducked into the other room so Mom and Daughter wouldn’t see the expression on Nanny’s face.

I now not only believe, but am sure what goes around, comes around. My poor mother suffered through my teen years. This must be why my own teens were so challenging to raise. Now I see my own children struggling with my grandchildren as they grow up and strain at the leash of parenthood.

However, I’ve got to tell you, I strongly believe it is so much easier seeing this from a grandparent’s point of view. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and Joyous Quanza.