When I started at KEZW in 1991 I was 34-years old and didn't have tons in common with listeners who at that time were near twice my age. Over time we were able to find some common ground and become pretty good friends and almost immediately I began to hear it. "You just wait until you have grandkids!", or, "Grandkids are so much better than your own kids!" On and on it went and I always politely said, "Oh I bet they are." Truth is I was thinking, "I can't wait for my kids to grow up and go and be alone with Diane!" Yeah, we got weepy when our oldest daughter, Sara, went to college. We were happy, but feeling older, when our daughters both married. We were misty-eyed for another reason all together when they started moving back home and secretly shed happy tears when they left again. All along KEZW listeners kept saying, "Just wait until you have grandkids, it'll change your world." And then it happened. May 2006, 2001, Larissa arrived and within one-minute I was in love like never before in my life. I was a 45-year old grandparent, the youngest grandparent ever I told people, and I was a blithering idiot. I spoke baby talk. I sang You Are My Sunshine like the record was stuck, over and over and over again. I bought every stuffed animal in Denver that was bigger than me. Damn right grandkids were better than your own kids, especially mine!!! Then came Joshua, and two-years later Ethan, and it got even better. Now I had boys to buy boy things for. We can giggle about body noises and collect rocks. We can see how many cheetos we can put in our mouth at one time AND Poppi can throw peas in the air and catch them in his mouth...at the dinner table when Nanna isn't looking! It doesn't get any better than this...until yesterday.
Joshua just turned 7 and Ethan turns 5 next week. For their birthdays we took the boys to the store as a surprise and let them pick out new bikes. For Ethan it's his first. When we stood in the bike isle and told the boys the look on their face was worth the price alone. After a half-hour of test driving down every row, we settled on the two best looking bikes in the world and headed for the register. The boys pushing their bikes with huge smiles and Men passing by with smiles equally as big remembering when they got their first bikes. Halfway through the store Ethan looked up at me and said, "Poppi, thanks for doing this for us." I would have bought him a car after hearing that!! We managed to get the boys home with their shiney new rides and pass them off to their Mom and headed to Shady Acres. A little later I noticed a movie on TCM that I was sure Larissa hadn't seen so I called her into the family room and asked her to watch the start of it with me. It was the 1937 version of Heidi with Shirley Temple. First she told me how she doesn't care for black and white movies, then she told me how the sound was weird, then she watched as Heidi saw grandfather for the first time and she settled in and watched. By movies end, now three-feet away from the screen, she cheered when Grandfather found Heidi and turned and thanked me for sharing the movie with her. Then she hugged me like she did when she was 3 and returned to her duties as Nana in training.
Bikes with the Boys...Heidi with Larissa. It was the Greatest Grandparent Day EVER!!!
Yep, grandkids are way better than your own kids. For the time you're with them you have some confidence the world is going to be ok. You feel good that your legacy will be carried on by little ones who love you with outstretched arms and open hearts. There's nothing as sweet as the feeling of a small hand holding yours and two little arms around your neck. Just don't tell Nana about the peas!!