Hopefully like so many others my wife and I really enjoyed a rather hectic but absolutely delightful Christmas with family, friends, and far too many tantalizing treats. As fairly active seniors we will now mellow just a little bit, re-arrange the condo back to normal, and look forward to venturing into the challenges and cheers of the new decade of the 2020s, with great expectations and wishes of health, happiness and hope for everyone.
As I now look into going into somewhat of a complete retirement mode I will likely seek out some new hobbies, get back into volunteering, and spend lots of semi-busy and quality time with my wife, our four children, our seven grandchildren, and of course with lots of casual and fun time with extended family, friends, neighbours, and ‘coffee buddies.’ As we grow older we can hopefully sit back, relax, and look forward to sharing the joy, enthusiasm, and totally unpredictable antics and amazing energy of our grandchildren, who make us feel and act younger, at least up until they go home. We all should extend ongoing appreciation and encouragement to our grown siblings for providing us with those precious little extra joys and rambunctious sweethearts, who will just keep right on being the extra spark and magic in our ‘golden years’ many decades after our last family allowance cheque had been cashed. I will now dedicate this part of my column with a special delightful tribute to all of us who can proudly say that we are now or can look forward to cherishing the great adventure of being life-time parents as well as full time grandparents each and every day.
Being a grandparent is our reward for surviving the greatest challenge and adventure of raising our own kids. Blessed are those who spoil and snuggle, hug and hope, praise and pamper, boast and brag, laugh and listen, and are experts at the practise of patience, for they are affectionately called “grandparents.”
Grandparents are like the stars … you don’t always see them but you know that they are always there. Grandmas are mommies with frosting, and those very smart little duffers have soon found out in a flash that you should only believe half of what Grandpa says. It has always been a well known family fact that all grandchildren are brilliant, beautiful, and will usually take after their grandmother.
Grandparents’ house rules: Cookies for breakfast are acceptable. The word “no” does not exist in our dictionary, and they can always expect to be spoiled. Visiting grandchildren will welcome parents by appointment only. Bedtime is negotiable with hugs and kisses. What happens at their house stays at their house, but don‘t worry because we usually forget anyway.
We really know when we are a grandparent when we experience that great pleasure of going out and buying those wild and wonderful toys for Christmas and birthdays … like noisy drum sets and trumpets or those that come in a gazillion pieces. Standing rule, the only gifts that stay at our house are the jig-saw puzzles, the story books that put them to sleep, and the games that we can win. All grandparents are there to get into mischief that hasn’t even been thought of yet, and certainly didn’t exist when we were kids.
God couldn’t be everything so he created grandparents, who are also the best kind of grown-ups. No matter how they behave on any given day a grandchild will always fill a place in our hearts that we never knew was empty. The nearest thing to the love of God is the ongoing love, support, and inspiration of all grandparents throughout several generations of their family.
As grandparents we may not be rich and famous but we will always consider our grandchildren to be priceless. No matter what, we will always have time for those happy little visitors when everyone else is way too busy. There is absolutely no doubt that one of the greatest joys of our busy lives is to discover that just when we might have thought that we were too old to ever fall in love again … we became grandparents.
Please enjoy this occasionally mild winter to the fullest, because it is subject to change, look forward to the New Year, and then have a great week, all of you.