TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY
I just want to say up front, grandchildren are wonderful. But I also want to say grandchildren can be exhausting. But it is an opportunity for me to, well, take the opportunity.
Like falling asleep sitting up, exhausting. Even the older ones, ones who are not babies anymore. Ones that dress themselves and feed themselves, after you make it for them of course. They can operate the TV remote better and faster than you can. Those kids are still a world of devotion and focus.
I had to feed them something
I had three of my ten grandchildren over to the house this last weekend. My daughter and son-in-law escaped to Las Vegas, volunteering to have them and keep them safe, fed, and watered until the parents came back to claim them. All was good. It had been a while since I had people living in my house, depending on me to, well, feed and water them. The teen girl and I had to get the two boys to baseball games. I had to feed them something, almost anything other than what I eat, so they wouldn’t tell their mom and dad ‘Papa invented something again.’ A custom I use to do when married and our own three kids of ours were home and I did most of the cooking.
They swam in my jacuzzi and after they were done, I was able to dump some chlorine in it to just, you know, kill whatever they left in it. Towels and wet suits and baseball uniforms and socks and cleats were left around the house and when picked up, half the infield dirt from the game fell on to the carpet. The three could eat the same chicken sandwich from the same chicken sandwich fast food or the same burrito bowl from the same Mexican food fast food every day if I let them. Breakfast was one of two cereals your dentist would advise you never-ever to eat. They didn’t use milk but ate it like popcorn at the movies.
But I am the Grandfather. I have the wisdom of the ages and for short periods of time, I can run with the rest of the herd like I did when I was a young bison in the middle of the pack. But I also have permission to teach those in my custody, things their parents might have missed or might have, themselves, been too tired to teach.
Ranch dressing is not a food group
For example, I think its important they know ranch dressing is not a food group.
I also think, while they (boys mostly) get game dirt on them, it does have a tendency to transfer to the nice couch they want to come flop on. We have steps to take before we flop anywhere. Steps such as showering. We don’t keep shampoo or conditioner in this house. Bar soap is all one needs. A good, heavy, removes anything if you rub hard enough bar soap. It’s in the shower. Then take your game uniform and throw it in the wash. Take one of those little pod things and toss that in with it and turn it to hot. There. You just washed your own filth.
And lets not forget about music. Yes, I may sound like my dad when I say I don’t get the music these kids these days listen to. You truly can’t understand them because most of the singers are swallowing the end of the microphone. So, I introduced them to groups and singers like Boston, Pete Townshend, and The Spencer Davis Group. I taught them how to drive in the car and turn up the volume and bounce their heads like they’re in the first row of a mosh pit.
…when there was an RCA dog.
When I reported the weekend activities, my daughter looked at me like she was the RCA dog, when there was an RCA dog. I decided that was enough information for one day. I overlooked telling her I transferred those bands and singers to my thirteen year old granddaughter’s cell phone so she could listen to them. Too much information is too much, sometimes, for a parent to handle.
God is funny in His placement of us, sometimes. God allows us to Shepard the young, but He also allows the young to Shepard the old-at the same time. Abba is playful and fun and loving. He allows us to teach, just by being in each other’s presence. Over time, decades actually, I have come to actually believe He is who He is. He has his best for us and washes us clean and keeps no accounting of what I did, am doing, or will do because of the payment His Son made. He meets me right here, right now, where I am.
And the best part, He loves me as wide as you can spread your arms.
Enjoy the ride.