I've heard older folks say more than once that "Being a grandparent is the best thing ever. I can love and spoil my grand kids for short time and then when they are tired or wild or ornery, I can give them back to their parents to manage!"
Humph. Hardly seems fair. But, after watching my parents do the grand parenting thing nonstop this past weekend, I've decided that being a grandparent isn't that easy after all.
After this weekend, I've decided that to qualify as an Awesome Grandparent, you must:
1. Be willing to drive for 13 hours so you can spend time with your grand kids. You must anticipate and delight in little ones greeting you with intense excitement and energy as you pull into the driveway. You cannot show fatigue and you must engage in baseball, football, bike rides, and endless rounds of checkers. Immediately. No potty break and no unpacking your suitcase. Your arrival means it's time to play - stat!
8. Be willing to purchase, sew, and wrap lots of frilly and girly gifts and lug them down on your 13 hour drive. You will be so focused on not wanting to forget any of her precious treasures and will pack them a day or two in advance. You will help her put on her new dress up clothes, insert batteries, cut packages, and even cradle and feed her new dollies.
10. Be willing to play checkers again and again. And again and again. You will stifle yawns and will suggest numerous other things to do, but will comply to the persistent, "Please Grandpa!" from your grandsons.
16. Be willing to be tender and doting to little girls. You will give hugs and put on shoes and try to clip in hair bows. You will call her dresses pretty and her smile beautiful. You will tear up when she hugs you tight and says your name.
20. Be willing to learn and listen and watch with your little ones, and offer an insight or two along the way. You're always ready to teach and share wisdom, but are never eager to boast about it or force it onto them. You want to be interested in their interests but are intentional about showing them new things to be interested in as well.