Grandparents Day? Really, That’s Today?


Wow. It sneaks up on you, doesn’t it? Not like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day – everyone has those holidays on the radar, even if it hits you that very day and you find yourself at the grocery store picking through what’s left of the greeting cards and potted azaleas.

In fact, Grandparents Day is always the first Sunday after Labor Day and has been since Congress passed the legislation in 1978! Who knew? I didn’t. Well, now I do. I saw it on Facebook this morning. And with this new awareness, I feel it is incumbent on me to say something profound, something moving, something eminently quotable. Here it is:

Dear Grandchildren:
We don’t know why we absolutely adore you, we just do. Truly, it is a mystery even to us.
Signed: Your Grandparents

You no doubt think I’m exaggerating. I am not. It is one of life’s imponderables, but for the vast majority of us, our grandkids are, simply put, perfect. Which doesn’t mean we don’t see their imperfections. We do. They just don’t matter. What’s more, we don’t feel the need to do anything about them, not the way we did with their imperfect and generally uncooperative parents.

No, dear grandchildren, improving you is not our job. I know it’s become a cliche, but we do in fact believe our only responsibilities are to admire and spoil you, to love you when you are hurt and tell you how wonderful you are ad nauseum.

Grandkids know this, of course, and are quick to take advantage of it. We don’t care. Which reminds me of this kid I saw on Humans of New last March…

“We’re going to Grandma and Grandpa’s house.” “What do you do at Grandma and Grandpa’s house?” “Anything I want.”
“We’re going to Grandma and Grandpa’s house.”
“What do you do at Grandma and Grandpa’s house?”
“Anything I want.”

Which further reminds me of something my youngest grandchild, Lee, then age two, said after we’d finished talking on the phone.
“What did Grandma say?” his mother asked.
“Grandma said yes.”
So young and yet so wise.

I could say more, about how grandparents don’t care how long it takes you to put on your shoes or the fact that you are eating cupcakes for breakfast. We don’t have to be anywhere on time and we know you’ll get a healthy breakfast tomorrow. You have wise and loving parents whose job it is to make you do all the things you don’t want to do and take the grief for it. And we dearly love your parents. You, on the other hand, we simply adore.


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