I thank God for grandchildren
I thank God for grandchildren. They must be our reward for not abandoning our own children during their teens. For having raised our kids through the terrible twos, moody adolescence, and know-it-all college years, we now get all the joy, love and rewards of parenthood without the sleepless nights, endless worry, and constant second-guessing of our parenting strategy. Behaviors I never would have tolerated in my own children just crack me up when performed by my beloved grandsons. Cookie in the DVR? Hysterical! Feeding his entire lunch to the dog in one fell swoop? Brilliant! Climbing to the top of the pantry shelves? Isn’t he athletic! Is it the new-found serenity of my old age, schadenfreude, or just my natural wicked inclinations? I don’t know, but it’s pretty fun.
Christmas this year was a renewal for me. I confess, the usual traditions had gotten a little stale, what with the adults growing older and even the youth becoming a bit more cynical of the whole affair. Gift cards are now the order, instead of brightly-wrapped gifts of all different sizes and shapes. It is so hard to find something with a reasonable price tag that appeals to a teenager anymore. The usual ritual with my high-school-aged nieces had been a half-hearted thank you for my gift, with a quick glance at the lid of the box to make sure the gift receipt was taped there. As hard as I tried each year, I couldn’t come up with a winner, so I finally caved to the gift card. But then my grandson, Nicky, came along. What a delight! He wandered around in his pajamas, amongst the 30 or so family members gathered at my cousin’s house on Christmas Eve, with an open-mouthed and big-eyed expression, wondering at every sight and sound, clutching his new favorite possession, a toy mail truck from Gary. I think Gary paid less than $20 for it and Nicky thought he’d been handed the keys to a Lamborghini. The little girls immediately swarmed to him and he basked in their adolescent mothering, allowing them to carry him around, feed him all sorts of bad-for-him treats and teach him silly little tricks like fist bumps and high fives and peek-a-boo. All under the watchful eyes of the aunties and parents. It was amazing how one little one and a half year old could energize a room, and I swear there were more smiles, laughs, hugs, fun and affection, all around this year . . . but then, I could be biased. No, I’m sure . . . there really were . . . yep, definitely.
And a little child will lead them . .