The Norman Transcript

Opinion

March 5, 2013

Grandparenting is reward for having kids

NORMAN — “If I had known how much fun my grandkids would be, we would have had them first.”

That oft-repeated statement by grandparents is a biological impossibility, of course, but it describes the joy that comes with having a third generation — or even a fourth — of your own family.

Without question, my mother-in-law loved all 33 of her grandchildren and all 68 of her great-grandchildren. But there were times when I heard her recite this little ditty: “I’ve seen the lights of Paris and I’ve seen the lights of Rome, but the lights I love most of all are the grandchildren going home.”

I challenged her the first time she muttered it in my presence, and her response struck me as one of life’s truisms.

She explained that grandchildren are God’s gifts to those of us who endure the seemingly unending worry, financial strain and physical and emotional exhaustion of rearing our own children.

And that once you reach the exalted realm of grandparenthood, you no longer have to be the first responder to the soiled diapers, unprovoked crying, temper tantrums and hunger pangs of the little darlings — unless you choose to be.

In most cases, grandpa and/or grandma get to hand the tyke back to his or her parents, usually at the first sign of trouble.

When my wife and I were rearing our brood, we developed the rule of “the smeller is the feller” when it came to changing dirty diapers.

In other words, if your nose caught even the faintest odor emanating from a toddler, you had the unenviable task of tracking down a clean diaper and giving someone a fresh start.

In fact, there was a period in my life when I believed that “quick change artist” meant someone with more than one child in diapers.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Call up National Guard

    We’re not sure it will help, but you have to hand it to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He deployed up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure his state’s border with Mexico this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • It’s only getting worse

    Conditions for children in Oklahoma were starting to look up for a few years, according to the annual Kids Count reports. Now we know it wasn’t getting better. The recession was impacting the rest of the country, dropping their scores....

    July 23, 2014

  • Noting a life well lived

    James Garner never intended to be a movie and television star. He just kind of lucked into it, he would tell those who asked. If you have the itch to act, get a good-paying job and spend your free time at your local community theater, he ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Recount that really matters

    Americans have been hearing a lot about Congressional elections, but there’s another one halfway around the globe that will matter far more....

    July 22, 2014

  • Runoffs get no respect

    The Aug. 26 Republican runoff election for the Cleveland County District 3 commissioner post is one of only 18 races on ballots around the state. Only two races are statewide — the Democrat contests for U.S. Senator nominee and state ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Change some lines

    Editor, The Transcript: Looking at how our elected Republican friends are reacting to the refugee children crossing the border and now being housed in Lawton, I have a suggestion. Let’s edit the Christian Bible in several places to reflect ...

    July 21, 2014

  • New health care system demonized

    To the Editor: In October 2013, soon after we were asked to take over management responsibilities at our family business, we were visited by the company’s health insurance agent. She explained that a decision needed to be made regarding ...

    July 21, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • The longer the wait, the higher the cost

    Editor, The Transcript: Thanks for the great article of July 3 on the Norman chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby group that recently went to D.C. as citizen lobbyists, working to get a revenue-neutral carbon pollution fee, refunded in ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014