The Greatest Job on Earth is Being a Grandparent
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I have officially had the greatest job on earth handed to me wrapped in a blanket 4 times! Being a grandparent is the greatest! It is all the joy of having children without all the responsibilities of raising them. You hold them, love them, even spoil them and send them home! It's all good! Mind you it has its pressure points, but it is so very worth it. My daughter has 4 children of her own and 2 stepsons. That officially makes me Nana of 6 sweet kiddos! My two sons are not yet parents, so there will definitely be more of them, so I should be happily employed for a nice, long time. They each have their own wonderful personalities and activities that they love, but when it all comes down to it, they all have me.
My job as grandparent requires many really cool things. I am required to shop for amazing presents for birthdays and holidays. I also have to attend all functions, clap at all performances louder than anyone else, and take their side in every parent-child battle. I get to see all the kid movies in the theater and buy and watch them at home (sometimes without children) whenever I want. No one cares, I have grandkids. It is my job to snicker and even laugh out loud when they say something outrageously obnoxious off-the-cuff. I get to fill my purse with junk food for them to mooch during church or at the mall. Best of all I am required to let them stay up late watching T.V. which is against all parental laws!
Having the job of grandparent has only one requirement: having a child who has a child of his/her own. That's it. Grandparents can be big or small, short or tall, young or old. It doesn't matter what you look like or what you wear. There is no uniform required. You can dress frumpy and bake cookies or dress street chic and shop! Kids don't care. You are immediately theirs. "Nana will let me," "Nana will take me," "Nana will go," are all phrases I have heard out of the mouths of my sweet little granddaughters when at war with their mother. They are right!! I am at their mercy. After all, I work for them. They pay me in kisses, hugs and unconditional love. I do not have to be cool. I am Nana. It is amazing!
They tell me what presents to buy, what clothes they like and where they like to eat. Yes, it is a direct hint (and assumption) that I am expected to take and run with. I am smart enough to follow through with these subliminal directives - after all, I love my job! I plan to keep it! They tell me what I need to have at my house to eat, play with and watch on video. It is great. My job expectations are laid out 100% of the time. I can never fail, because...they love me. I am Nana. I am allowed complete forgiveness for failures. It is forgiven and completely forgotten, instantly. If I do something too ridiculous, it is filed under the "that's my Nana" and it is okay with everyone. I love it!
I realize that once one of them is over 12 years of age it may all change. Adolescence has a way of changing children into strangers, but I have seen my children follow in my footsteps and evolve into grandparent adoration which has continued to last throughout their teens and early adulthood. I hope my grand-babies will continue to follow suit. My grandparents were awesome....they did their jobs well. They adored me unconditionally, encouraging me to be and do anything every step of the way. I grew up pretty good, so they must have been successful! There may come a time that I have to look my grandchildren in the eye and tell them to be sure to grow up to be responsible adults. My grandparents did. I will need to make sure they know that the most important thing in their life is to have a relationship with the Lord. Other than that, my grandparents pretty much left all my education and raising to my parents. They were Granny, Grandpa, Granny and Grandad. They were good examples. They took care of their families, their homes, and their finances. They all set an example of faith in God and participation in church. They left a legacy of raising their own children well. My parents DOTED on my kids as well! My mom made sure they had all the really great stuff to eat and my dad made sure all their stuff worked (all the time). Today, my children will call my parents and ask, "Grampa, how do I .....," "Gramma, how do you make....." and, from time to time, I still hear, "Gramma would let me."
During my divorce and before I remarried, my parents sometimes were called up to to be that "other parent." My ex was not around nor participating during the children's school years. That was the hardest time for the children to be "parent deficient." I must commend my parents for not losing their grandparent glory while helping me co-parent my children. They worked hard to maintain the spoiling factor while working at keeping my children in balance as well. I hope I can live up to the legacy they have laid before me. My grandbabies are still small, well... most of them are kinda small. They are 5 months, 2, 5, and 6 and my step grandsons are 9 and 11. I still have time to become timeless with them. The girls are set, they even call me when visiting their dad in Texas, the baby boys are still little and I have only begun with them. My new step grandsons have other grandparents who are golden already, so I am testing out who I get to be with them. The job requirements are evolving with them. I will learn it over time, but they are gracious enough to let me hug and kiss on them the same as I do the others. They know I am good for that all the time! Maybe that is all they need....there are always jobs open for extra huggers. No applications required. Still... the greatest job on earth is being a grandparent.