40 years ago, give or take a few days, Grandparents Day came to be. It’s self explanatory. It’s simply a day to honor grandparents. It’s not a big holiday. I doubt I’ll get any special recognition today and I’m not looking for it. That’s the funny thing about being a grandparent. The reward is in the being.
“Grandchildren are loving reminders of what we’re really here for.” -Janet Lanese
The other day while I was in the pick up line at school waiting for Beej to be released….yes, little Beej is in preschool now!… I got out of my car and came around to stand on the sidewalk. The man who had been leaning against the van in front of me in line took a few steps closer and commented on the weather. After a few moments of weather chit chat, he asked who I was waiting for. I told him it was my 3 year old grandson and he nodded, telling me he was also waiting for a 3 year old grandson. He went on to share that his kids dropped the grandkids off on their way to work and he drove them all to school. We found out that we both have 9 year old grandsons and wondered if they might be in the same class. (They are not.) It was a short, nothing to write home about, exchange but it was nice. It reminded me of days long ago when I stood outside another school waiting for my own kids come out, talking with other moms. Things have changed in the last 20 years. Way back (haha) grandparents showed up for concerts and graduations. Now they are as present in the school setting as parents! I’m hoping my “grandpa” friend is there when I pick up Beej on Tuesday. I’ve found that the moms prefer to sit in their cars until they see their child walking out. Although it might age me, I prefer the old way- standing outside chatting- and if it has to be with a grandpa, so be it!
“Grandchildren are the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation.” -Lois Wyre
Last week due to 48 hour shifts and a wedding, CJ and Beej spent 5 days straight with us. On day five, they went home with Daddy. That evening my son, Michael, sent the following text- “CJ will be calling you from our house phone.”
Minutes later I answered my phone, unsure what I was going to hear. Quickly dispensing with formalities, CJ said, “I just wanted to call to tell you goodnight.”
It seemed curious. Quite out of the ordinary. But I asked how his day went- “Fine”, asked if he was happy to be back home- “Yes”, and finally went into what has come to be our regular “closing” remarks when we leave each other. “Okay, well, you’ll spend tonight, tomorrow and the next night at your house and then Daddy will drop you off at school each day. On Friday, I’ll pick you up and you’ll spend the night here with me. I love you! Goodnight!” This has become custom because the schedule is not always regular and I hope to give CJ a sense of security in knowing what’s happening when. He seems to respond well to it.
A follow up conversation with Daddy filled me in on the reason behind the unexpected phone call. After five days with the grandparents here, CJ had struggled with settling in at home with Dad’s rules. He had pushed every boundary could find and a few he didn’t know were there. Now, let’s make one thing clear. Dad’s rules and Nonna’s rules are very similar. Due to the amount of time the boys spend here, we don’t have the luxury of spoiling them in the typical grandparent ways. And out of me and my husband, I’m the bad guy, the enforcer, the meanie.
CJ is not an easy kid to get close to and we have our ups and down, he and I. Then something like this happens- when he calls me because he needs that touchstone- and it’s the most precious gift he can give me. His trust.
“If your baby is ‘beautiful and perfect, never cries or fusses, sleeps on schedule and burps on demand, an angel all the time,’ you’re the grandma.” -Teresa Bloomingdale
With so many more grandparents helping their children raise their perhaps this day needs to pack more of a punch but given the spirit in which it was created, I’m sure that, like me, most grandparents get such joy from being with their little ones that there is no other gift that could be more precious.
Happy Grandparents Day!