Rocking Life as a Grandparent

Thinking about what life is like as a grandparent? Or maybe you’ve just been informed that you’re going to become a “parent of the grandest kind?”

Merriam Webster defines grandparent as:

“noun ˈgran(d)-ˌper-ənt —a parent of your father or mother”

When I read that, I actually yawned a little and then thought, “I wonder what other title I can have that’s way cooler?” So I did some research and decided that I’d rather live in the land of Wikipedia and become a Monarch instead. Wikipedia rocks that definition but further breaks it down as follows:

“The word monarch is derived from the Greek μονάρχης, monárkhēs, “sole ruler” (from μόνος, mónos, “single” or “sole”, and ἄρχων, árkhōn, archon, “leader”, “ruler”, “chief”, the word being the present participle of the verb ἄρχειν, árkhein, “to rule”, “to lead”, this from the noun ὰρχή, arkhē, “beginning”, “authority”, “principle”) through the Latinized form monarcha.”

But anyhoo…I’d like to think that there is a far better definition for the title of grandparent, so, as usual, Veronica Tanzen defines grandparent as:

“noun ˈgran(d)-ˌper-ənt —a parent of the grandest kind who has earned the privilege to be loved and appreciated by a member of the newest generation; and benefit from all of the perks of said unconditional love and appreciation.”

That, my friend, is how I view being a grandparent. I have always felt that way. I have always been of the opinion that a grandparent’s job is to enjoy those children.

Last week I talked about the dreaded “just wait until…” groups, well, there’s another group out there that ignorantly attempts to rob me of my joy as a grandparent.

If you were to ever meet me and ask about my granddaughter, you would immediately see the twinkle come alive in my eyes followed by an ear-to-ear grin. I am completely gaga for my granddaughter and I can’t hide it. My famous saying goes, “I just want to stuff her in my cheek and carry her around like a hamster all day.” Yes, she’s that bloody adorable.

When people ask me about what it’s like to be a grandparent, they are then subjected to me gushing about how it is the most amazing feeling ever. Then they inevitably chirp up and say, “{Snort} That’s because you can send her home with her parents at the end of the day.”

No that’s not it. And when I hear that, all I can think is, “No, no, no! Shut up, shut up, shut up!” But instead of giving them one of my eye-rolling looks, and snapping back, “Yeah, well… your mother wears army boots!” (Wait, do the younger generations even understand our generation’s “mother” trash-talk comebacks?), I, instead, do my best to verbalize how my heart feels. It’s difficult though because the feelings, for me, are so overwhelming and amazing, that I can’t seem to find the exact words to do it justice. One analogy that I came up with is this:

Grandparenting is like being the passenger in a car on a sightseeing road trip. You get to sit back, relax, and take in all the beautiful scenery as it goes by. Parenting is like being the driver on that road trip—your full enjoyment is diluted by the responsibility of the task at hand.


Although, as a grandparent, I’m going along for the ride, I do still offer direction and guidance to my daughter. I don’t screech, “Turn left, TURN LEFT,” but instead might say, “The last time I came this way, I found that sometimes traffic was a little lighter if I turned left at that street up ahead.” If she chooses to keep going straight, then that is her choice as the driver, and she will take what is coming up ahead in stride.

There’s another thing about becoming a grandparent that I didn’t expect—I didn’t expect to fall in love with my husband even more than before. When I watch him with our sweet little grandbaby, I get to see a side of him that I was robbed of because we met later in life. I get to see the beautiful, tender, and nurturing side of him as a father. I get to see the twinkle in his eyes when she smiles at him.

Today is another day that I will stop and just reflect upon the blessings in my life that come with each title that I proudly carry:

  • Wife
  • Mother
  • Grandmother
  • Friend
  • Monarch

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