- Family and Parenting
How I'm helping to raise smart grandkids
That's right . . .
I'm helping to raise smart grandkids. That is my goal for my grandson, John Gabriel Nash. Oh, allow me to introduce his sisters, my granddaughters: Alexis Cameron Nash and Annabeth Mckenzie Nash, and my grand kids are special. All grand kids are special. Gifts from God. I know this is true. And my bits of life-wisdom is applicable to Alexis and Annabeth as well.
When my wife told me years ago, "we are going to be grandparents," I couldn't walk. Talk. See straight. Think. It was that exciting to me. Me? A grandpa. What a rush! If someone had told me in my high school years that one day I would be a grandpa, I would have laughed them to scorn. In those days, I didn't care. About anything. Or anyone. I was in the 'game of life,' for me. And me only. I am being honest. And I know you Hub writers are all honest as well. No use telling lies. I was selfish, self-centered. And only wanted what "I" wanted. Talk about a jerk. That was the 18-year-old version of me.
First kids first . . .
Alexis came first. She was, and is my buddy. Alex, as I call her, spent a lot of time with me before I got sick with Accelerated Fibromyalgia and Neuropathy. I would take her to town with me. Shop at Walmart. Eat at (her restaurant) Burger King, and we would have a ball--sharing ideas, opinions, and let me just say this. Alex, as a young toddler, knew more about life that I thought I did. I was constantly amazed at her natural wisdom. Beauty. Charm. That she got from her mother, Angela, not Michael Nash, her dad. I have to be honest. I don't want my friends and followers to think that I am an 'apple polisher.'
Then came John Gabriel. He was a regular 'ball of fire,' as a baby--always crawling, rolling, and falling off of the couch, bed and sometimes just falling in the floor. I thought to myself that he is destined to be a stuntman in Hollywood one day. And he just might do that. Gabriel, as everyone calls him, is so active, he only sits still to eat. And can that young boy eat. His 'hunger' for food, brings tears to my eyes. He is, I think, even at age eight, on his way to being a Navy Seal or maybe a Green Beret. Either one, I will be proud. Honestly, I will be proud of him in whatever vocation he chooses. Except that of a criminal. Gang banger. Thief. Liar. Or cheat. I cannot let my acceptance and tolerance go that far. I hate it. I am just that set in my ways.
My grand daughters know what they want to be . . .
Alexis, our eldest grand daughter, age ten, has already made up her mind to be either a school teacher or world-wide evangelist. And she is totally-serious. She will tell you face-to-face that these two 'jobs,' as she calls them, is what she wants to be. So playing the role of the doting, understanding, and encouraging grandpa, I am for Alexis in these two jobs, or whatever life has for her to do. Except being a drug dealer. Prostitute. Thief. Liar. Embezzler. As in Gabriel's case, my understanding and tolerance does have their limits.
Annabeth, our youngest, has told us that she would love to be, "a mermaid," as she says in her very-serious five-year-old voice that is already touched by realistic conviction. Personally, with a name like Annabeth Mckenzie, she is bound for fame and fortune as a single woman, but a prominent writer of literary masterpieces. Her Old South name has already chosen that field for her. I do not think that Annabeth will take a husband. She grimaces when the subject of boys comes up at dinner. Or snack time. But Alex is different. She has already had and lost one boyfriend who lived next door to her. And she took it like a trooper. "Moving on," she told me after the painful break-up of a relationship that lasted for almost two weeks.
My headline, 'I'm helping to raise an ignorant grandson' is misleading . . .
I was going to devote this entire story to Gabriel, but after some thought, that hurt my head, I decided to dedicate this text to all of my grand kids, for the lessons I want Gabriel to learn will easily be applied to my grand daughters.
I want my grand kids 'ignorant' of these things . . .
SPOUSAL ABUSE - sorry, modern world of 2011. I am not going to allow the super-tolerant Phil Donahue, Jerry Springer crowds influence my grand kids into believing that willfully abusing their spouses is cool. Accepted. The thing to do. And a thing of honor. If I cannot help to teach my grandchildren the tried, true, simple art of just being understanding with their companions, then I desire for God to just take me out of this world. I want my grand kids to be unique. Peculiar to the undisciplined masses. I want these children to grow up to honor, respect, and yes, love their husbands and wife. That is if they marry.
ANIMAL ABUSE - God did not put His creatures on earth to be abused. Used for profit in illegal fighting games. Run-over. And treated like they were not even living things. Right now, all of my grand kids love animals. They have a cat named, "Teddy," and I am trying to talk my wife into letting me buy a Rhesus monkey for them to play with. You know how that went.
CHEATING - on their companions, on tests, on the job site, taxes, any area of life that calls for honesty to be implemented, that is what I want for my grand kids. There is nothing more disappointing than to know that a so-called 'genius' of a person who zoomed through school, passed every test. Never studied, but cheated to get ahead, is really more than a case of simple disappointment. It is a personal violation to everything we as a people stand for. I am one for teaching integrity, respect, and just sticking to the job of being a wife or husband. I don't think that is wrong of me either.
CHILD ABUSE - please! Do not get me started on this area. Children, like grandchildren are gifts of God. You are correct. You didn't misread that statement. I said gifts of God and should be loved, cherished and honored. We live in a society that is sadly, sick somewhere. Most every newscast we see are stories about animals, children, and wives being abused as if they were pieces of furniture. This is a crime. Cut and dried. Willful-abuse of any living thing should bring down the judicial wrath of our court system, but you know as well as I do, that a slick lawyer can get anyone 'off' for almost anything with a plea deal. If my grand kids ever lift a finger to abuse their children, if they have any, even at my then-very elderly age, I will have a lot to say to them. So that is why I am saying a lot to them now about NOT abusing any living thing.
SMOKING - if you have followed my hubs lately, you know how I feel about this one. I do not want Gabriel to smoke, chew, or dip. Even have tobacco in his house or car. I guess I sound like one of those anti-alcohol women of the Temperance League of long ago, but I can tell Gabriel the truth about the harm that accompanies smoking. My granddaughters are already turning up their noses at the smell of cigarettes. That is a good sign. I am going to preach and repreach to them the evils of smoking as long as I have breath. I love them that much.
DRUG ABUSE - all I have to do when Gabriel and his sisters are spending the night with my wife and I, is turn on the evening news and let them see, first-hand, what drug abuse can really do to a once-thriving, healthy man or woman. And if the news doesn't do the trick. I can call on the 'big guns,' the Discovery Channel or the Learning Channel, who feature documentaries often about how harmful illegal drugs can be to a person. How serious am I about this one and the previous points I have talked about? So serious that I had rather lay down my life, now, than to know that my grand kids, or yours, ever did any of these deadly things.
LOAFING - is just a mild, cute way of saying a man is 'lazy.' A gold brick. Not wanting to work. Even with his family he is to support. Call me stupid. I don't care. I am not against 'some' down-time. Some carefree loafing. But around the clock? Everyday? Something is wrong if my healthy grandson, Gabriel, and my granddaughters, Alex and Annabeth simply want to not be productive. If either or all of these grandkids listen to some in this country who say that it's our government's place to take care of them, and them healthy, then I must speak up and tell them the hard truth. Simply put. To have. You must work. NOTE: I am not talking about the legitimate cases of disability, social security or welfare. I am talking about another 'abuse,' in that of taking the government for a ride.
GUNS - don't even form your mouth to say it. I know. We have the right to 'keep and bear arms.' That is not the point. I am not against owning a gun. I am not anti-hunters. I am though, against willful abuse of using firearms. That means to me, allowing young or old people, who have not been educated, to have access to any firearm. I know the old argument. "Guns don't kill people. People do." And even that is not the issue. I do not want my grandson, or granddaughters to grow up thinking that guns are toys. And guns are wrong. I am not an extremist. I will do my best to teach my grandkids the safety, the laws, and correct usage and storage of firearms. If they all never shoot a gun at any living thing, that will be fine by me.
ALCOHOL ABUSE - I had two wonderful uncles die of an alcohol-related accident. But prior to that, both abused alcohol almost daily. Nightly. And both were creative, genius types of men. Loved by family and friends. And me. I too have abused alcohol. Okay. Booze in my day. And I never profited a thing by proving to anyone that I could drink them under the table. If my grand kids choose, as adults, to have a drink in their own homes, so be it. They will be intelligent, responsible adults. And they will not be taught that over-boozing with friends for any reason, especially driving while drinking is anything to be proud of.
Are my grandkids perfect? Little angels? No. And yours aren't either. Will my grandkids ever experiment with any of the things I have mentioned in this story? I cannot answer that, but given to human curiosity, peer pressure, they might.
And if the do, partake. Experiment. Or even abuse these things. I want to be the kind of grand dad would would, if it took it, walk to where they are at, lift them in my arms, doctor them back to health. And sobriety. But not point one finger of condemnation at them.
That is my goal.