The Nana Factor

I started writing this on Mother's Day, a holiday dedicated to all the moms in the world. The way it works is that our moms give birth to us, then they do a twenty-year stretch of washing our laundry, saving us from malnutrition, and keeping us from killing or being killed by our siblings. 


In return for all that, we set aside one day a year to give them a pancake breakfast, a basket of flowers, and a cheesy card. The amazing thing is, they seem to like it.


So when my son gave us a Mother's Day FaceTime call, the apparent purpose of which was to let our granddaughter, fresh from her bath, flash Nana and Papa a full holiday moon, it was all a normal part of the plan. Then I got to thinking about how all the grandmothers of the the world fit into the lives of kids. 

I Can't Wait To Be A Grandpa

Do you remember when you were a kid, and you just finished doing something spectacularly stupid, and then your mom would say, "You just wait, Buster. Some day you'll have children of your own, and then you'll get yours..."

As with most things, my mother was right. My son spent the better part of his childhood doing heroic duty to her memory, picking up and channeling every one of my childhood sins so that they could wash back over me in a giant dose of Kiddie Karma. Now that my son is grown and married, I've decided that I’m going to raise the ante.

You see, as parents it was our job to teach our kids to say, "Thank you" and to keep their pants pulled up when we had company. We had to convince them that it is generally a good idea to flush the toilet. It was our responsibility to mold them into future doctors, lawyers, astronauts, politicians, armed robbers, or televangelists.

A grandpa is free to be nothing more than a kindly old coot with an endless lap and a bottomless wallet.

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