Jeanie, at The Marmelade Gypsy recently became a new grandparent, and wrote a nice post on being a grandparent. It made me think of my grandparents, and the different types of grandparents there are. So I decided that my G post for the A to Z Blogging Challenge would be Grandparents.
I had the good fortune to start off with more than the usual number of grandparents. My mom’s parents were divorced and both remarried. I was also the first grandchild on both sides of the family. That’s kind of like winning the lottery when it comes to being spoiled by grandparents. They were all different, and I had a very different relationship with each of them.
My mom’s dad and step-mom died in a car accident when I was six, so I have only early childhood memories of them. For them, being grandparents was a calling, an occupation, and a hobby all rolled into one. He had missed out on most of my mom’s childhood due to the divorce, and was determined to be there for everything when my sister and I came along. She adored children, but was never able to have her own, so my mom, and then later my sister and I presented her chance.
They were the kind of grandparents who snuck us cookies after bedtime, and let us do pretty much whatever we wanted. They played house, dolls, dress-up, pretty much anything we wanted, with us.
They did things like let me drink juice out of a coffee mug and stir it with a spoon because I loved the sound it made. Even today, there’s something soothing to me about the sound of a spoon clinking against a mug.
They packed a lot of grandparenting into six years. I honestly don’t know if I would have such vivid memories of them otherwise.
My mom’s mom, Granny, embraced grandparenting with equal fervor.
My mom has always hated gum, and would never allow us to have it when we were kids, so Granny kept us well supplied with gum. She would send us huge boxes of gum, with every flavor imaginable. Mom would make us go outside to chew it, but that was fine with us.
Granny wrote the best letters, and she wrote often. I loved writing letters as a child, and wrote them on a near daily basis for a while. She always wrote me back.
She loved shopping, and could always sense a good sale. She taught me how to bargain shop, and the wisdom of stocking up on things when they’re on sale.
She made the best pumpkin pie. I have her handwritten recipe for it, and it was her contribution to our wedding cookbook.
My dad’s parents, known as Mama Kitty and Dad Dog, lived a little further way, so we didn’t see them as much when we were kids, but they still whole-heartedly embraced being grandparents.
They came to stay with my sister and me during our other grandparents’ funeral. My parents made the decision for us not to go, and I don’t think there was anyone else we would have willingly stayed with.
He taught me how to ride my bike. It didn’t go well at all when my parents tried, but Dad Dog’s method was successful. He went with me for show and tell when I was in kindergarten (no one else had a Dad Dog, so he was a big hit).
He took me out driving when I had my learner’s permit and taught me not to be so terrified of getting in an accident.
She’s the avid reader in the family, and passed on a love of reading and books. She’s the person who convinced me that the worn, well-read books are the best when you’re at book sales or thrift stores, because they’re clearly the ones people have read and loved.
I think all of my grandparents helped shape the person (the good and the bad parts) that I am today. I learned different things from all of them, and was able to have a unique relationship with each of them. I realize that I was very fortunate to have that.
So what about you? What were/are your grandparents like? If you’re a grandparent, what are you like?