Dear Grandparenting: I am going to give you a different kind of grandparent to write about. You can call me the grandmother who is on strike and off duty. I am the reluctant grandmother. Guess I have better things than my grandchildren to think about — like me!! And you know what? I don’t have an ounce of guilt. It beats me why other people find grandchildren so incredibly fascinating. Infants can do nothing more than eat, sleep and excrete. Toddlers break things and wander off. Adolescents are selfish. Teenagers are trouble with a capital T. Case closed.
Maybe I will change my mind when my grandchildren are older. Or maybe I won’t. In the meantime, I am not going to spend the rest of my life hanging around, wishing and hoping my grandchildren and I become best of friends. I have taken good care of myself. There are gentlemen who find me attractive. I’ll take that over a grandchild with a stinky diaper any day of the week. Life is for living. Who can blame me for enjoying myself? Maybe I’ll send my grandchildren a postcard from Mexico when I get there. I’ve booked two weeks. Already Gone, Dayton, Ohio
Dear Gone: Sorry to disappoint you if you thought we’d be in shock to hear there are grandparents who can’t be bothered.
We know your kind is out there. Grandmother is among the most commonly modified nouns in the English language; i.e., Gran, Granny and Grandma. Now along comes “Glam-ma,” modern slang for grandmothers who dote on themselves instead of their grandchildren. (Glam is short for glamorous.)
Who can count the reasons grandparents make the conscious decision to minimize their role, or the ways they go about it? Some embark on personal journeys. Others are widowed or divorced and seek romance, or have stepfamily issues. Some are no doubt put off by popular culture’s emphasis on youthful entitlement, or so-called helicopter parents who protectively hover over their children.
We firmly believe that grandparenting is high on the list of life’s great rewards. But to each their own. Who’s to say the missing won’t eventually come around to our way of thinking? It’s never too late.
GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK
Mac Long from Marysville, Washington, watched as grandson Gregory, 9, wolfed down two doughnuts and a soda. Figuring Gregory was still hungry, Mac asked if he wanted to stay for lunch.
“Sure,” said Gregory. “What are we having?”
“Well, I have some delicious spinach casserole left over,” began Mac.
“Spinach is very fattening, Gramps. I’m trying to lose weight. Thanks anyway.” With that, Gregory hopped on his bike and rode home.
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.