Guest Blogger: Donna Foute
Picture it, Halloween night 2006 in the middle of Disney World, a 63 year old man stuffed inside an adult sized Buzz Light Year suit purchasing Mickey Mouse ice cream bars for his grandchildren. I sat on the bench watching my retired father-in-law beam with delight as my children danced around him. He was sweating to death in his costume as It was a very warm evening in Florida. My father-in-law must have been incredibly uncomfortable. Want to know something? He didn’t care. All he cared about was granting every wish that my very spoiled children had at that moment. I was awe struck at the love this grandparent had for his grandchildren. What would make a successful award winning respected man, be driven to put on a sizzling juvenile costume? I have two words for you. Unconditional Love. This is just one of the traits I believe that makes the ultimate grandparent. With this thought in mind, I have thought of a few ideas from a mother’s perspective of what the ultimate grandparent might be.
Go ahead and bend the rules! Consider it your God-given right to serve ice cream for breakfast when they spend the night! Ssssshhh! We won’t tell!! Some of my fondest memories was knowing that when I walked through my Grandmother’s door, I knew that I was always in store for the best time. She would spend hours playing with me. She would give me a dollar and we would go every Saturday morning to scour garage sales. Her mission was to make me laugh several times a visit. I became a master at Chinese Checkers by the age of 9 years of age. Fun was my Grandmother’s middle name. It’s okay to give yourself permission to act as a child and in doing so, it just may keep you young in the process.
Nobody likes a know it all. Especially when it is unwanted advice from your parents. We don’t want to hear how your way was so much better. So much has changed in world of parenting since you have raised us. We understand that you are full of wisdom and have many more years experience. We will continue to do what we want in regards to child rearing and would rather have your support than criticism. Want in on a little secret? We still want to shine in your eyes. We will make horrible choices and will fail miserably at times. Yes, granted we may find that “your way” is actually the better way, but let us discover that in our time. We crave your respect and it is helpful if you keep your critical opinions to yourself and be respectful of our parenting choices.
Take Care of Yourself:
Now that you are the best grandparent on the planet, it is important that you take care of yourself so you can enjoy it as long as possible! Be the example and lead the family to better health. We may drop the ball and slack off in that department, but it doesn’t give you the right to follow in our poor lifestyle choices. Make that doctor’s appointment and get your physical health in order. We want to watch you enjoy these wonderful years. Get on a healthy nutritional menu program and exercise several times a week. Don’t forget to take your medications as well! We have enough to worry about with our children’s health and we want to make sure that you are taking responsibility for your personal health. Do you think your job as a parent is over? I got news for you, it isn’t! We still need you and we look up to you as an example. If you don’t want to be the example for us, then do it for the Grandchildren. Just do it.
I am convinced that the world will stopped turning if grandparents cease to exist.You truly do make the world go around. As your child, watching you interact with our children, we are still learning from you. Continue to be that strong example for us, so that when our time comes to be a grandparent, we can reflect on your great example to follow.
“Surely two of the most satisfying experiences in life, must be those being a grandchild, or a grandparent.” – Donald A. Norberg
Writer, Donna Foute is a mother of two sweet angels and married for almost 15 years. She is a contributing writer for several websites and currently working on several projects in hopes to have published in the next few years. Donna has authored several blogs including her latest Savvy Motherhood and continues to research tips and tricks to help her readers gain more traffic to their websites and blogs.