The Secret Grandparents Keep

I noticed a new behavior among my friends after they became grandparents. Suddenly the kids coming over took precedence over everything. If we had plans to get together, a call would come, “The kids are coming over. They need …” and with that, our plans had to be rescheduled.

I decoded the message. First, when they referred to the kids they didn’t mean their children so much as their grandchildren. But it seemed subtly alluding to being needed by your adult children was a more acceptable reason for canceling plans with friends than saying you heard the siren song of your grandchild. Once I figured that out, it wasn’t hard to realize: my friends would rather be with their grandchild than with me. I thought maybe it was just me; but I asked around and it appeared others were encountering this same exchange with their grandparent friends.

Now that I’m a grandparent I have uncovered the real truth. My friends did prefer the company of their grandchild to my company, but they had good reason.

Grandchildren are simply more fun than friends. 

Here are five reasons why being with my grandson is more fun than being with my friends:

1. My grandchild does not take part in what Nora Ephron referred to as the organ recital. He has never once mentioned his buddy’s emergency gallbladder surgery or talked about his neighbor’s aunt’s cousin who died suddenly from an exploding colon.

2. Toys mean joy and he has lots of them. When I’m with my friends I never roll marbles on a track we’ve built together. We rarely finger paint with shaving cream. Plus, I can’t remember the last time one of my friends invited me over to race cars on the living room floor. Bouncing those off the walls and furniture? It’s a blast.

3. Conversation flows effortlessly. I never have to figure out what he really means. If he requires attention he says politely,”Grammy, please show up.” We have no awkward moments in which I have to determine whether something I’ve said has offended him. He’s actually impossible to offend. He’s three; he doesn’t understand the meaning of offend.

4. Spontaneous dance parties have never broken out when I’m out to dinner with friends. But with my grand boy, we can bust a move at any moment. What could be more fun than dancing with abandon and not caring in any way how you look? Bonus: He doesn’t care at all how I look… ever.

5. Laughter happens. Constantly. At nothing and everything. And, it is often accompanied by kisses … and giggling. How long has it been since you giggled with friends?

There are those reasons and one more, perhaps the most compelling of all. No one in the world is happier to see you than your grandchild. When was the last time one of your friends screamed your name, ran toward you and jumped into your arms?

If you’re part of  or know someone who is part of the secret society of grandparents who know this unspoken truth, you may enjoy my children’s book, Real Grands From A to Z, Everything A Grandparent Can Be.  Share it with someone who’s a ton of fun! It’ll make a terrific Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gift, too!

Finally, to my friends. You know I love you and we do enjoy fun times, but… well… I’m sure you understand.

Fun times ahead!

Fun times are born!

13 Responses to “The Secret Grandparents Keep

  • I know, when I am with my grandchildren, I am their age.

    • So right. And I’m having too much fun being three years old again! I think I was three once but I barely remember it and I’m sure it wasn’t this much fun!

  • Not being a parent or grandparent, this has always been a mystery to me. Now I get it. Thanks for explaining!

    • I had no idea what was going on prior to figuring it out. Glad I could be of service. And, I feel sure you’re fun too!

  • Now I understand why my Mom prefers the company of those babies. She runs a daycare too, she has lots of funny stories to tell and it seems like she gets to raise kids again.

    • That’s true. It’s that little kids are really pretty entertaining, even the ones who aren’t related to you!

  • Not a grandparent yet, but loads of my friends are. I’m not a bit jealous, because I already understand. But, hey maybe we should play more with our friends..bust a dance move, finger paint with shaving cream, have a coloring book party?!?!? Yeah?? What do you think?

    • Honestly, Cathy, I think you’re a genius! Throw in some wine and a martini bar and along with the coloring books and shaving cream, you’ve designed the perfect night!

  • I agree. I love just hanging out with my granddaughters. They are so much fun!

  • Love your reference to one of my favourite writers, Norah Ephron. And although I don’t have any natural children of my own, my dear baby sister is a young grandma who kindly shares her only grand-daughter with me. I have coined a new term when referring to my little monkey as my ‘grand niece’, instead of great niece. I couldn’t love her any more than I do if she were my own grand-daughter. So I know what you’re talking about. The time I spend with her just fills up my heart. And there’s nothing more gratifying than her little face lighting up as she runs to hug me when I visit her screaming out, “Aunty Debbyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy”, I love you.

    • I love “grand niece!” I have a friend who never had kids but she has the sweetest and most loving relationship with her grand niece, whom she babysits for each week. She is going to embrace your term big time! I’m not at all surprised about your love of Ephron. She was a gifted writer, humorist and storyteller/observer of the human condition. Her style surely suits you.. and me. We share that good taste!

  • Oh thanks for the compliment regarding Ephron Deb. It’s funny, another author said my writing reminded her of Norah. How stoked I am to even be compared to her. And go ahead and share my term ‘grand niece or nephew’. 🙂

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