As time has gone by, I have learned a few things. According to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, I have not learned enough yet, but that's just her opinion. She gave me a great compliment the other day when she said, “Dear, you’re as smart as you will ever be.”
As people, mostly men, get older, they get a little grumpy. I did not know I was getting grumpy until the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage said, “Why are you so grumpy today?”
With a face like mine, it is tough to hide any grumpiness.
Because I know she is always right, I began to think about the idea that maybe I am getting grumpy. Thinking along that line, I wanted to know what good could come from being grumpy.
Nothing seemed to help me understand this until one day the grandchildren came over for the day. It was then I begin to understand one solution to get over this grumpy-itis disease.
When the grandchildren are around, especially the younger ones, there is no time to be grumpy. Their infectious laugh cures just about any kind of grumpiness I might ever have.
Try not to laugh when your grandchildren are around laughing and creating a wonderful sense of chaos. It is impossible.
When the grandchildren would leave, my wife and I sat down in the living room and said to each other, “Boy, was that fun.” Then we fell asleep with smiles on our faces.
It was then I found the remedy for my grumpy-itis. As a grandfather, I need grandchildren in my life to make sure my life is not grumpy. Even days after they leave I'm still smiling and even laughing.
Every once in awhile, my wife will say, “Do remember…” Then she goes on about something that happened when the grandchildren were here.
Once I quieted down a little from all the grandchildren's activity, a thought took hold of my mind, which even brought another smile.
I knew I needed those grandchildren as therapy from my grumpy-itis, but there was something even better than that. Those grandchildren needed me.
When the grandchildren are under my “supervision,” they have a freedom that they do not have anywhere else. As a grandfather, I have a hard time pronouncing the word NO. It did not take those grandchildren long to fi gure that out.
Every once in a while, I'll hear, "Let's ask Granddad.” Then I know they are asking me for something that maybe nobody else would approve. After all, grandfathers are just like that.
As much as my grandchildren do for me, I do for them as well. We’re a team, and we work well together.
Grandchildren need someone in their life not stressed with schedules and fi nances and all of that stuff. They need to see someone in their life that is happy and glad to see them.
Don't let this get out, but they need to see someone in their life that has them as a priority. Nothing is more important in a grandfather's life than his grandchildren. If he does his job well, they will come to understand that they are the most important people in his life.
I like this one Bible verse. “Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children” (Proverbs 17:6).
The key for grandchildren to be genuinely grand are grandfathers.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.