Thursday, September 15, 2011

Letter to a New Grandparent

Welcome to grandparenting.  If you're like us, you didn't really expect to be here quite yet, and you may be feeling a little uneasy.  What, me, a grandparent?  Once you get past the idea of it, though, I think you'll find that grandparenting is way better than parenting.  Way.  Here are some things I wish I'd known, going in.

  • You will worry just as much about the grandchild as you did with your kids, except with grandkids, you get the added bonus of little to no control. 
  • You will become that annoying person who hauls out pictures of grandchildren and forces people to exclaim over how cute they are.  This is a shocker, but we all do it.  It's just an instinct, like breathing for us grandparents.  Look at my grandkid, look!
  • You may also become that truly frustrating grandparent who gives too many gifts at Christmas.  Hey, we're more organized than we were back when we were just parents, so we may see some great toy in July that looks good, another one in September, and, yes, another five or ten before Christmas morning.  I'm confessing, this is me.  Sorry, kids, but I can't help myself.
  • You may start wearing white socks with sandals, or run around with a pair of reading glasses on top of your head.  Sorry, this is probably not due to being a grandparent.  I don't know, they happened about the same time to me, but I can't blame the grandkids.  The reading glasses do help, though, when you're called on for an impromptu "Hop on Pop" reading.
  • You will want to see that grandchild at least once a day, although most of us don't get this privilege.  Skype will become your favorite piece of software. 
  • You will love that little child just as much as you love your own kids.  Hard to believe, I know, but it's true.  All three of our grandkids are just as sweet as can be, and so full of personality.  That instant love you felt for your kid?  It's there just as strongly for your grandkid. 

Those people who say grandparenting is so much better than parenting?  They're not lying.  Welcome to the best part of having kids...grandkids.

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