The grandbabies came for Camp Granny yesterday, which meant a sleep-over and a whole day to knock around.
I am a Serious Person Who Thinks Serious Thoughts, but not with these nearly-five-year-old twins. I take off my shoes. I pretend to be an alligator. I don’t sweat it when they make pillow forts or destroy a room.
What the hell happened to me?
With my own children, there was no destroying a room. There wasn’t even messing one up, at least not any of the rooms I spent time in. (Their bedrooms were another story, but we called the living room the “Mustn’t Touch It Room.” That should give you an idea of how warm and welcoming was my home.)
I remember once telling the boys to police an area (clean up) and one of their friends asked if I’d been in the military. (My oldest son helpfully explained that I hadn’t, but my father had.)
I don’t remember sitting on the floor with my children. I was on a mission from God to by-God deliver these young men to a fruitful adulthood. It wouldn’t have dawned on me to loosen up, even a little.
Not so with these kids. I give direction as needed, but mostly, we cuddle and giggle and read books and hang out.
When I broach this subject with one son, he waves me away or reassures me that I was a good mom. Maybe, but then, maybe that’s why so many people love being a grandparent. You don’t precisely get a chance to do it all over again (that ship has sailed) and there’s no redeeming the past, but you’ve loosened up a little. The burden of by-God delivering these young people to a fruitful adulthood is on the parents. You’re just there to provide the sparkle. Sparkle, I can do, and no one is more surprised than I.