Here at Casa Owen this past weekend, we got to enjoy a visit from my parents. My dad was celebrating his 75th birthday, and he wanted to share it with us. How cool is that? The boys enjoyed spending time with Nana and Pop again, and so did we.
It got me thinking about grandparents generally, and what a treasure they are. I grew up knowing only two grandfathers (each of my grandmothers had died long ago). One grandfather lived far away and I only saw him a handful of times during my entire childhood, but the other grandfather, “Grandpop,” lived close enough that he was a regular fixture in my childhood: babysitting or driving me to appointments when both my parents were at work, telling me stories of his days in the coal mines, sharing silly jokes, giving me big hugs.
He had his own set of eccentricities, too. One particularly cute one was that he never rang the front doorbell when he came to visit. If he brought my aunt with him, she would ring the bell, of course. But if he came alone, he would park the car (he called it “Bessie”) in front of the house, and sit inside it until we noticed he was out there and went out to greet him. In nice weather, he would get out of the car and walk around in the backyard until someone spotted him.
When I was 18, he died of lung cancer, brought on by miner’s “black lung” and a lifetime of smoking unfiltered Camels. My dad inherited his car, a big green Chevy Nova. Sometimes, for a split second, when I’d see it parked in front of the house, I’d think Grandpop had come to visit and was waiting for someone to go out and greet him.
Grandparents are precious. Hug them close.
In honor of grandparents everywhere, I want to share with you my
TOP 10 REASONS WHY GRANDPARENTS ROCK (with apologies for the “old-timer” jokes!)
1. They are either retired or semi-retired, so they have more time to spend playing with you.
2. When Mom or Dad says “no,” Grandad says “yes.” Hey, if you’re sick to your stomach later, that’s not his problem.
3. You are the center of their world, and they like to knit/bake/send stuff to you.
4. Their house is so cool. Childproofing? What’s that?
5. Since their joints are stiff, you can always beat them at a game of tag, and they don’t mind. (They never seem to find you at hide-and-seek, either. Must be their poor eyesight).
6. Your artwork is plastered on their refrigerator, and pictures of you are everywhere.
7. When you come to visit, they stock up on all your favorite foods.
8. Because they are old, they forget the knock-knock jokes you told them the last time they saw you, and now you can tell them all over again. And they still find them funny. Strangely, they do remember cool stories of when they were kids 50/60/70 years ago, which you love to hear them tell over and over again.
9. They’ve seen it all, so that new mowhawk you got doesn’t faze them.
10. Because they’ve been through it all, they know how to take advantage of a fun moment. Here’s an example of an elderly couple playing the piano in the lobby of the Mayo Clinic (if one of them is there for a medical problem, you sure can’t tell!). I’ll bet these folks are fun grandparents!
So, what made/makes your grandparents special? What special memories do you have? I’d love to hear from you!
Until next time,