Dear Grandparenting: I need to vent and you’re elected to be on the receiving end. In a word, grandparenting is overrated.
I don’t dislike small children as a rule. But I also make exceptions when deserved, and I’m pretty sure my grandchildren qualify. I consider myself fortunate to live far enough away (a good four hour drive) that it takes some effort to visit. I actually prefer to visit them so I can split when I’m ready.
My son comes home dead tired. His missus paints watercolors day and night and can’t sell a single one. My grandkids are left to their own devices way too often. What do you get? Noisy, inconsiderate, messy, demanding — take your pick.
But I do take heart from what my own father used to remark, to the effect that childhood is an illness most of us outgrow. I’m running against the wind here. You’ll probably tar and feather me, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Walter Stenhouse, Lima, Ohio
Dear Walter: We plead guilty to a positive spin to grandparenting, and why not? The joys of grandchildren are shared the world over.
Universal yes, but hardly unanimous. Your sentiments will resonate with readers who endure the bedlam and mishaps of the younger set, hoping to be rewarded by someone capable of intelligent conversation when they are grown.
Boundaries and limits, two key components of modern childcare, benefit young and old alike. Youngsters need learn who’s the boss — it’s not them! — while grandparents need their space and creature comforts.
Truth be told, we suspect a majority of grandparents prefer visits or occasional overnights, versus more prolonged dealings with young grandchildren. Love them as we do, they can run us ragged.
Grand remark of the week
Jimmy Davis from Everett, Washington reports that his two granddaughters “know how to find my sweet spot. They make me laugh, even on those days when I don’t feel like cracking a smile.”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.