Reflections on Being a Grandparent

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Reflections on Being a Grandparent

by | Sep 9, 2016

Everyone usually thinks fondly or has fond memories of their grandparents.   But I still cannot grasp the reality of being a grandparent; I think I look and feel younger than my age but when I think of my grandfather, who was born in 1879, was 90 when he passed and I was only 13.  
I still have images of him sitting in his living room on the couch with the TV turned up so loud it would burst your ears, puffing on a cigar with clouds of smoke hovering overhead.  Many of the buttons on his shirts were missing from brushing off the cigar ash that fell frequently.  He had diabetes and was caught way too often sneaking some sugary snack contraband .  He loved baseball and actually played on a Texas minor league team back in the early 1900s.  He offered a fun challenge to our backyard baseball lot gang by promising $5 to anyone who could hit a homerun into the upstairs window of his home which ending up happening more than once.  He was inconsolable after the loss of my grandmother and lived in a sad state of loneliness for several years after her passing.   He did not seem that engaged in my life but at his age, just getting around was difficult.  I wish I could have known him at a more cheery time of his life, but raising four boys must have been tough.  So to me, a grandfather conjures up some crotchety old fart who smells a little funny and can’t see or hear a thing. 

The joy of holding your grandchild for the first time is indescribable, but it still seems surreal and hard to grasp the reality of it all. Since I started early having our daughter Sarah at only 27, there is a fairly earlier time frame than I experienced.  So those of us who aren’t ready for being a grandparent had better wake up and smell the baby poop.   At least changing diapers is usually not a mandate.  My grandson Calvin is the smartest, cutest little fella and I can’t wait to see him grow into a fine young man.  They live about 9 hours away so the facetime option has to suffice for getting to see and hear him with the new words he’s learning etc.  Being there and engaged to the degree possible to love on him and be a positive influence is important. 

So to me, the top five bombshells of being a grandparent are:

5.  You can dote on and spoil the grandkids and return them to their parents with immunity.

4.   You’re the respected elder and the grandkids haven’t yet heard some of your boring stories.

3.   You have to let their parents call the shots on how to raise them, make suggestions carefully.

2.   You can decide what you want them to call you, grandpa, pa-pa, pop-pop etc.

1.   And the number one bombshell to being a grand-dad is the realization of waking up next to a grandmother! 


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