Warning: Obnoxious grandparent alert!
Whenever people used to go on and on and on about their special love for their grandchildren I was confused, because I couldn’t imagine anything greater than the love I had for my children. Now, having logged 9 years as a grandparent, I’ve come up with a way to explain this feeling:
Having grandchildren is like finding a new kind of candy. Nothing wrong with the other candy; this is just different candy.
Recently, my son and his wife had their second son, Ethan, who joins his 3 year-old brother, Daniel, in the world. These two, plus the two belonging to my daughter, Jacob and Aaron, make four grandsons. That’s right; four boys and no girls.
Make no mistake: We love our boys to a ridiculous level of obnoxiousness. Still, the pent-up demand for pink among the women-folk in this family is palpable.
My boys are so much fun. Poppy gets to take them fishing and hiking and teach them how to do other stuff that only guys think is fun (if you know what I mean, and I think you do). But I would be less than candid if I didn’t admit that I, too, would like to have a granddaughter. There is just something sweeter than candy about getting your neck hugged by a little girl.
My grandsons are affectionate, mind you. But when a little boy demonstrates his affection, it’s a lot like a mugging or being attacked by a ninja - and you’re just hoping for a glancing blow. I call it “drive-by love.”
Boys and girls sure are different. Not long ago, we had a meal with my older boys, where I was heard to say, “Aaron, don’t eat the mashed potatoes with your fingers.” And “Jacob, cut your meat; don’t bite it off.” Soon after, we visited with in-laws who have little girls about the same age as the two knuckleheads I had so recently admonished. During the meal at that gathering the two girls sat prim and proper at the table. But this time the little one admonished me with, “Uncle Jim; elbows off the table, please.” Viva la difference.
When I talk to my daughter about wanting a granddaughter, she sternly tells me to look elsewhere. And with Ethan having just arrived, do you think it’s a little early to put in my order for another try at a little girl? I’m thinking the prudent play would be to wait a few months.
At least with four grandsons I’m close to a basketball team. Plus, I now know who four of my pall bearers will be. You know me: always thinking practically.