Good Grandma, Bad Grandma


As my children were growing up, I looked forward to the time when they would leave the nest and become independent human beings. No thought of “empty nest syndrome” crossed my mind. Nor did I think much about grandchildren. My idea of life after kids was flitting around the globe, popping in a couple of times a year, or sending postcards from Paris…kind of an “Auntie Mame” image.

While we’ve visited Europe a couple of times since retirement, we are a bit more tied to the grandkids than I planned. Also, I didn’t count on actually falling in love with my grandsons. I’m still not the grandkid-obsessed granny, however, and haven’t yet found my sappy gene, so I have both my Good Grandma, Bad Grandma moments…

Good Grandma: Sitting in an AirHeadsUSA trampoline arena for 2 hours watching my grandsons jump all over the place, playing dodgeball and literally bouncing off the walls.


Bad Grandma: Not really watching but taking advantage of the free WiFi to surf the web and check out airline prices to Amsterdam.

Good Grandma: Preaching the values of fruits, vegetables and exercise to the grands, who are always plugged into their respective electronics.

How about we add a scoop of ice cream to that!

How about we add a scoop of ice cream to that!

Bad Grandma: Stocking the fridge with sugary drinks, cakes and ice cream, “just in case the boys come to visit.”

Good Grandma: Including the grandsons on a Media Trip to Disney World’s Animal Kingdom for a whirlwind weekend and hearing, “Grandma, you have the best job ever!”

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Bad Grandma: Skyping from Switzerland on Christmas morning, enjoying an Espresso and croissant, rather than hosting the traditional family brunch. (They still found a pile of presents from Gma and Gpa under the tree, so they didn’t even know we were among the missing.)

The view of Lake Geneva and the train to Nyon, outside our chalet in Switzerland on Christmas morning

The view of Lake Geneva and the train to Nyon, outside our chalet in Switzerland on Christmas morning

Good Grandma: Taking the boys for a walk to Greenwood Cemetery on Memorial Day to witness a military ceremony, all the while answering a gazillion questions about various wars, grandpa and great-grandpa’s experience in their respective wars, cremation versus burial, etc., etc.



Bad Grandma: Well, actually, Grandma was good all day, relishing the chance to address their myriad of questions and hoping to make a lasting impression with the answers. I am, however, still waiting on that notification from TripAdvisor about a reduction on air fares to Amsterdam!



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