Activities & Excursions

Grandpahood - Time To Make
Silly and Lasting Memories

I used to think being a grandpa meant you had to be 80 years old, retired, full of grey hair, and maybe use a walker or a cane. WOW – was I wrong. Today, you can become a grandpa in your 40’s and early 50’s.

Did I want to be called “grandpa?” No. I thought it would make me sound “old.” So, what happened the first time I held my first grandchild? “Hey, you can all me grandpa.” My heart melted. It was new. It was the next step in my journey.

So now, with six grandchildren I’m having the time of my life. I’ve learned it’s about the memories we create, not things I buy. They would rather see my face creamed with whipped cream playing Pie Face than to receive a small gift.

They get excited when I go to the Dollar Store, get funny glasses, hats, and necklaces for dress up, and take silly pictures!

They also have fun when we go into a store like Target and try on hats we would never buy to take silly selfies! Sorry Target!

The best part is I can fill them with sugary memories and turn them back to mom and dad to try to put them to sleep! One scoop or two of ice cream? They always get two scoops with me. It makes a bigger mess and it’s more fun that way.

Do I like playing bucket head with a plastic bucket? Yes. Playing Candy Land a zillion times? (No response). Do they like it? Yes. How about Uno a zillion times? Yes! I can tell you every episode of Peppa Pig and all the rest of their favs.

Maybe the best time is cuddle time. There are only a few short years when they cuddle, then they become tweens and teens. Cherish the cuddle years. Read them stories. Tell them stories. Be funny. Make them giggle. No, better yet, make them LAUGH out loud. Big belly laughs.

I wish I could see them every day, but I don’t live close enough to all of them, but that’s where FaceTime comes in. There’s nothing better than watching a grandchild do a silly dance when he receives a singing Sponge Bob card! Don’t send money, don’t send a standard card, send a card that makes a child DANCE WITH JOY and be silly!

At work, I can be an “adult.” With grandpa, we can have FUN. It’s about creating memories. Each time we play a game or do something silly, I keep reminding myself that’s something they will replicate someday when they are grandparents.

Fear not the age. Don’t worry about going gently into Grandpahood. Grab it! Seize it! Take it and run with it. Each day is a new opportunity for a card in the mail, a call to say, “I love you,” or a chance to simply just be silly together.

Submitted for use by The Grandpa Project by Joe Barnes, Seattle, Washington

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