Grandparents Need Not Be Objective

I am not a kid person. I never babysat. My younger sister tells some absurd story about being
tied to the back door railing so she couldn’t follow me down the street. What an imagination!
(You decide if I’m referring to the alleged tie-er or tie-ee.) I refuse to have a baby-talk
conversation with any other human being, regardless of age. But, in the matter of my own
children and their children…

They are the most brilliant, most charming, most handsome. You get the drift. I know quite well
that they’re not perfect. But, they’re perfectly my kids. No boy ever read earlier or was a more
complete Little League catcher, though he seems to have been born without a competitive
streak. No little girl ever found her passion or developed a distinct (if occasionally questionable)
fashion sense at such a young age.

Every spring, the recitals, school productions and championships rolled around. We went to
every one. We volunteered. We brought flowers and cameras. I told our kids how fabulously
they sang/danced/returned volley/vaulted. They always remarked, “You’re only saying that
because you’re our mother.” I can’t wait to make the same pronouncements for our singing,
dancing, bat swinging grandchildren.

Every grandparent should see her own grandkids as I see mine. I want every grandmother to
think her boy is the most gifted and attentive grandson ever. I want every father to be enthralled
by his little granddaughter. I want every child to know that she can count on being loved
unconditionally. The world is full of bullies and villains, neighborhood and global. I want kids to
have safe haven in the arms of someone who is always, always, always on their side.

When kids do wrong (and we all did), parents and grandparents can still be supportive. When
we dole out meaningful, measured, discipline, we still love our kids fully. A child without a loving
advocate is at a great loss in our society. Every new parent should realize that her child will be
the cutest and sweetest smelling baby ever. It is the job of the grandparents to have taught their
own children this lesson. I am the most non-objective grandmother in the world. That’s as it
should be.