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.
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!”
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.)
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!