One of my most favorite things about being a parent is watching my own parents as grandparents.
It’s one of the most fun and exasperating events to witness as an adult child.
I was extremely lucky to have fun and loving grandparents. They took my twin sister and I everywhere with them. We went out to dinner, took walks in the park and had sleep overs with the cousins. My grandmother made us fresh baked cookies and we had ice cream after dinner. My twin sister and I dined on homemade tapioca for land’s sake. Who can say that these days?
One of my most favorite memories was spending hours playing cards with my late grandfather. For hours, we played Go Fish, Uno and our favorite — War! My grandfather was a card player and I can still hear the “clank” of his gold ruby ring hitting the table as he slapped his cards down.
These days, my son spends a lot of time with my parents throughout the year since we live around the corner.
I often give my parents a hard time since they’ve seem to have loosened up a lot as grandparents in ways they never did as my own parents.
In fact, my dad is almost unrecognizable as the father of three girls compared to the grandfather of three boys. It’s like we don’t even know who he is!
He’s like, cool and stuff.
So in honor of Father’s Day this weekend, I’d gladly share a few things my father has done for his three grandsons that has amused me over the years:
1. Motor vehicle access: A few years ago, my dad bought the three boys a golf cart to putt around the farm at a leisurely pace.
Within hours, the three of them off-roaded that zippy golf cart, spinning its tires and raced through the yard.
Nephew Michael got the brilliant idea to “ramp” the golf cart off a fresh pile of gravel last summer. He buried it in the rocks. My dad towed it without a word.
Nephew Tyler took a tight turn around the barn and smashed into a mower trailer. He hit the trailer with such force it pushed it off of its block, puncturing the metal wall of the barn.
Tyler owned up to it, but he didn’t even get a scolding! No way would have that flown 20 years ago! Dad wasn’t even mad!
And so their grandfather bought them something faster — and with seat belts.
He bought them a Go-Kart last Christmas.
This is from the same guy who bought a stick shift truck on purpose right before we turned 16 — so we couldn’t drive it.
2. The store. I’m guessing the reason we spent a lot of time at our grandparents was that my parents hated taking us out in public. Just a guess. Want to know the places my dad took us when we were little? I would like to know, too, because I can’t think of any. Yet, just this week, my dad took both Evan and my dog Shorty to Rural King — for fun. He took the dog and the kid. Who is this guy?
3. The barn. My dad helps us a lot with Evan’s 4-H market lambs. While I’m sure it was because I had my twin sister to help with chores, I don’t remember Dad walking the sheep with us very often because he worked third shift. Nowadays, he comes over nearly every night and walks the lambs with Evan.
The kicker? Dad installed an automatic watering system for his grandson. I threw a fit. Where’s the justice! My sister and I would fight over who would haul the 5-gallon bucket up and over the fence to be dumped and refilled. It builds character and responsibility!
It was his barn, so his grandkid would have an automatic waterer installed for his first year of 4-H. The end.
All in all, being a grandparent is a powerful, powerful thing. You guys get to have all the fun and then send them home.
And that’s OK with all of us. Happy Father’s Day to all you grandfathers who spoil your grandkids rotten. I know one lucky kid who doesn’t know how good he has it.
“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears on Fridays in the Troy Daily News. If Grandpa installs a swimming pool for the grandkids, she wouldn’t mind one bit.