I used to think listening to people talk about their grandchildren was like watching paint dry. Even now, dodging strollers in yuppie neighborhoods in San Francisco can really irritate me. And the other night, a father came to happy hour in an upscale bar with a Snugli, pushing a hundred pound stroller and I wanted to scream!
This morning I rolled over on a piece of Cookie Monster’s face, put my feet on the floor and stepped on a couple of Inner Peas (if you don’t know what these are, I suggest you Google this right away!). I smiled as I made my way to the bathroom where Dora the Explorer bubble bath sat on the side of the tub and I could still hear the giggles and splashing that could make me forget everything else in my world. Yep, I am now one of those grandparents and to tell you the truth, I am feeling a bit Jekyll and Hyde about it myself.
At the risk of being stoned to death by members of AARP, I want to offer up my best thinking about being a grandparent and it applies to parents as well. Loving your children and grandchildren is one of the greatest gifts of being a human being. However having a life separate from them is also precious and necessary if you are to truly experience all that this amazing life has to offer. There is nothing more sad than realizing that when the kids leave home, the emptiness is more than in the nest. It is deep in your soul.
We are beautiful complex creatures with the drive to live, learn, explore and dream. Our kids and grandchildren are part of that dream for some, but not for all of us. Don’t forget yourself or those dreams if you are a parent or a grandparent and for God’s sake, claim happy hour for yourself and for me..I beg you.
PS, if you want to see my pictures, let me know!
If you want to get this message to a wonderful friend who might need to be reminded about life after grandparenting..please share this by posting on your Facebook and social media pages!
Thanks in advance for spreading the word.