Your Grandchildren Are the Best

OK, I just said that to get your attention because you already know that I think my grandchildren are the best boys on the planet. How do I know this? They are semi-running on Granny blood. It may be a small percentage, but it's there and it's a powerful blend. Stay with me here, you'll get your turn.

The other reason is obvious to me, but not necessarily to you. They are good kids and I have watched them change since they were born. We made a lot of trips to Anchorage, AK in the beginning to be sure they were cute, funny and growing. I was never disappointed. I have to say that the first grandson was kind of scary because he was the size of a large moon snail. This scared grandma but I forged ahead, giving him his first bath (thanks, Mom) and making sure he was hygienically sealed for his own protection.

What I did not do soon enough was pick up that book on the coffee table about raising babies and read it. Turns out you are NOT supposed to put alcohol on anything protruding from baby boys. No wonder he howled as I approached. Somehow we all survived this episode and I was an improved boy grandma as the others arrived. If there is a problem with all of this, it is that these things took place more than 20 years ago.

In addition to our trips North, there were those lovely years after they moved back to Oregon when they spent time with us on weekends and vacations. I probably have a thousand photos of little boys doing something or nothing. It didn't really matter. I loved their energy, laughter and ingenuity. I loved them each for their own distinct personalities and innovative approaches to learning about life.

I loved the way they taught me to lose my old parenting inhibitions. I loved the way they taught me to play and not worry about all the things I worried about with my own daughters. They brought delight in the most simple things to our home, for everything from collecting slugs to picking out the best Christmas tree and learning Spanish. They changed the subject of our ordinary days to something much different and much better.

This year our youngest grandson will be 20 years-old. The eldest is 25 and his brother is 23. I would give anything to have all of them together in one room. As their great-grandma, my mom, always says, “She just wants to touch on” these boys. Amazingly, that touch goes a long way as our family members get older. I hope our boys remember the power of their visits, their touch and our love.

I have a hunch that most of you will find a home in what I've written so far. A few weeks ago I met a wonderful woman who did not have children of her own. As I watched her work and interact with others I knew she qualified for Mothers Day status so I gave her that greeting and a hug. I know she's not alone. Having children and grandchildren of your own does not make you a grandparent. Grandparenting takes special skill and lots of love.

There you go. I see you and your grandchildren on Facebook. I see your laughter. Sometimes I see quiet reverence and love for a newborn. Sometimes I see the cutest-ever girls and boys so many times that I end up falling in love. I've considered the legality of this and I think I should be allowed to be your grandkids' other grandma. Our illegal agreement will be that I can tell people who say how cute, precious, clever, sweet, smart or lovable your grandchildren are that I am their other grammy.

OK, I give. You already knew it. ALL of our grandchildren are the best. Why? They are part of us and make our lives a better place. Yes, I know this is not always the case but for most of us, one way or another, these grandkids make our lives richer.

I have always loved the word, kin. That's who your family is to you. Those grandchildren of yours are the best. They are kin. You share blood or love with them. After being on this earth for almost 72 years I have learned they can be one and the same. As the eldest of 24 grandchildren of Mel and Dorothy I have experience, blood and love. I have kin.

Geezer Tribe: That's why I write. We are kin.

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