[I would be entirely remiss if I did not tell the world how much I am thankful for my folks! Of course, I have to do some bragging for my father. You see, he’s a pretty darn good photographer. Check out Ken Waller’s photo gallery.]
Those Aren’t MY Parents… Are They?
Seriously, what happened to my parents?
My first son is born and my parents turn into these even more lovely, loving, cooing and cuddly folks! This isn’t entirely what I experienced growing up…
Now, don’t get me wrong.
On the spectrum of “cool parents” I think my folks’ dial went to eleven. Always there, always willing to talk, correct, share, guide and, importantly, allowed me to fall flat on my face, simply so I could learn how to pick myself back up. Heck, friends from high school, to this day, still ask how my folks are doing and, “Do you remember the time your folks threw that big after school bash?”
Seriously. These are cool parents! I am too proud to be called their son.
Enter Scene Right: ‘That’s My Boy’
And then my first son is born. “That’s My Boy” is my online nickname for my oldest chuckle-head. Within hours of being born, it was obvious that That’s My Boy had wrapped my folks’ hearts around his little pinky! My research into how this happened is thus far inconclusive. Suffice it to say, I’m convinced that if he asked Mimi & Papa (my folks) for a car today, they would ask what color and options he wanted and said car would be delivered tomorrow.
Then There Were Two…
The second chuckle-head, “Attaboy,” hits the scene a couple years later and the “grandparent-itis” hit critical levels! Now, the grandparents swing by and pick up the boys to get ice cream, grab a quick McDonald’s meal or to go play in the park. It is quite a happy, random occurrence, but my goodness!
It warms my heart so!
I Can’t WAIT to be a Grandparent…
Parenting is tough work. For those that are parents, I see you nodding your heads. For those yet to become parents, just know that there many sleepless nights, headaches, worries, concerns and heartache in your future. But the pay-off is HUGE.
When I come home after a long day battling with other real estate agents, working with buyers and sellers, and talking with lenders, my heart is absolutely melted and broken when my ears hear two of my favorite voices scream, “Daddy! You’re home!”
I can’t wait to hear their children run screaming at me, “Papa!” That will be pretty close to the pinnacle of success for me; when my children’s children can’t wait to distribute hugs and kisses to my lovely bride and me. It’s at that point that I will know that I have succeeded in raising two strong men and gotten them along the path to raising strong children of their own.
From what I’ve observed of my folks as grandparents, apparently there are a few obligations that are bestowed upon becoming a grandparent, and I simply can not wait to exercise them! Here are my observations:
- You no longer need to be the “heavy” when it comes to discipline. Not that it doesn’t occur or the boyos don’t get disciplined by Mimi & Papa, but the heavy lifting of the disciplining is passed on to Mom & Dad.
- Ice cream and cookies suddenly become two new additions to the four basic food groups.
- Randomly purchasing waterguns for an impromptu water fight is perfectly acceptable.
- You suddenly become impervious to sloppy, snotty hugs and kisses.
- You can’t stop talking about, or thinking about, how much joy the chuckle-heads have brought to your life, family and friends.
- Spoiling the grandkids is an accepted, widely practiced sport and the reward is being able to send the kids home with their parents!
- You get to accept compliments on how well behaved your grandchildren are, WHEN THEIR PARENTS ARE NOT AROUND!
An Ode to My Parents | The Older I Get, the Smarter They Become
All joking aside. I look forward to being a grandparent myself. Much of the reason I look forward to that time in life is simply a function of watching my folks interact with my boyos. My parent’s forthright and immediate expressions of love, compassion, caring and support of my children melts my heart.
When I first moved out of their house, I thought I knew everything I needed to know and that my folks couldn’t teach me much more. Within a few weeks of moving out, I remember talking with my mother and expressing shock at how different the world looked when finally being “independent.” It was at that point that I realized just how much my folks had done to raise me to become independent and that I had so much more that I could learn from them and their example.
As grandparents, I watch them with my boys and see how they listen intently, nudge my boys’ thoughts in certain directions, guide the boys’ sponge-like minds into investigating the world around them and simply love my boys for being their grandchildren. Where they learned these skills, I’ll never know. I suspect there is a manual somewhere that I need to learn a secret handshake to receive. If it is simply “on-the-job” training, I will take my time during this “probationary” period to make sure I get it right for my grandkids.
To my Mom and Dad: I love you deeply and fiercely. Thank you for your example. Thank you for your support and encouragement. Thank you for becoming smarter, the older I become.
To those readers that made it this far, thank you for reading what is, in essence, a thank you note to my folks. If I can ever introduce you to my folks, it will be my immense pleasure.
[originally posted on MichiganDads.com]
[Here’s the link to all of the 31 Days of Thanksgiving posts.]