The worst sunburn I ever got was when my grandparents took me to a Florida beach when I was 9 years old. All I remember now is lying spread eagled on the motel room bed, not wanting anything (including the sheet) to touch my bright red skin.
I can’t say that traveling with my grandparents was a great time. Even in retirement, my grandfather was not anxious to have “fun”.? Driving from Dayton, Ohio to Florida, we would pass the factory outlets for towels and quilts in Tennessee , the wooden bowls in Georgia and the alligator farms in Florida. My grandmother kept asking to stop at every one; my grandfather just kept on driving. Some people just never learn how to have fun.
Every grandparent I know, says they love their grandchildren. But let’s face it, some people are just not “kid friendly”. These are usually the people with white carpet in their den and expensive figurines on their coffee table. Compare these people with the ones laughing and singing while they wipe the peanut butter and jelly off the leather seats of their new car.
You have forty or more years of life experiences. You are now beginning your second adult life. You have made retirement plans or you have followed my “Smart Person’s Guide to a Great Retirement” and intend to make the next thirty years the very best of your life. But if you are never rolling on the floor, laughing and singing with your grandkids, you are cheating yourself as well as your grandkids. Stop and think about the type of memories they will have of you when you are gone. Sure, you can shower them with presents and spoil them all you like, but tell them stories, tell them about your favorite places, where you grew up and how you had to walk five miles to school, uphill both ways in freezing blizzards. 🙂 Teach them something special that you know how to do. Magic tricks, knitting, woodworking, how to tie a tie or catch a fish, how to make money on the Internet…these are the things they will remember about you. Let their parents teach them how write a thank you card or have good table manners. Your job is to teach them how to love life by being a passionate, caring & grateful, fun loving grandparent.
If you are the type of person who has read this far, then you probably don’t need this last piece of advice. Never say anything bad about your grandkid’s parents in front of them. If you were a good example for your kids, then your grandkids will probably turn out just fine.