June 1, 2010

Tales by Triplett – GRAND-PARENTHOOD

Triplett,PatrickBy Patrick Triplett

After having experienced being both a parent and grandparent I can say without hesitation there is no comparison. Parenthood is hard. It’s about rules, discipline, teaching and sometimes having to play the role of bad guy even when it breaks your heart. Grandparenthood, on the other hand is pure enjoyment. There are no rules. No guidelines to follow. You get to spoil the heck out of your grandchildren and play with them to your heart’s content. If parenthood is a plate of steamed-cooked vegetables, then grandparenthood is a hot fudge sundae with a cherry on top.

My wife Mimi and I raised three boys. We must have done a pretty decent job considering how well they all turned out. Now we are the grandparents of three children, two girls and a boy. Allison is ten and Megan seven. We have been lucky to have been a part of their lives since they live in town. We don’t know Will quite as well yet, since he is only one and lives in New Orleans.

We have treasured countless moments of joy and laughter from the girls over the years. I recently came across a diary we had kept of them during that precious window of time when they began to observe the world around them and comment on their observations. Some have become classic memories that we have locked in our hearts forever.

12/01 – Allison was 28 months old when she and her mom, Andrea, were out shopping. Allison had stopped to look at the toys when Andrea said, “Come on. It’s time to go. I have a lot of shopping to do.” Allison replied, “You go ahead. I’ll catch up with you later.”

06/02 – Andrea was upset at Allison for some reason when she calmly replied, “Just take a deep breath and relax, Mom.” Her dad, Matt, intervened at that point and said to Allison, “If it were up to me I would send you to your room right now.” To which Allison responded, “Luckily it’s not up to you.”

01/03 – Mimi had found a crayon under the couch and gave it to Allison. “I’ve been looking for this crayon for years,” she said joyfully.

05/03 – Allison and I spent the day together and were eating ice cream at a restaurant when she looked at me and said, “Papa, I know it’s not for real but could we pretend we’re out on a date?”

06/03 – Matt and Allison were waiting for Matt’s car to be repaired when Allison asked if he could turn on the TV in the waiting room. When Matt did a woman who was sitting by the TV reading a book appeared irritated and stared at him. Matt apologized and turned it off. Allison didn’t say a word. When they were on their way home Matt complimented her for being so good about it. “I just didn’t want to have to deal with that woman,” replied Allison.

08/03 – After fixing Allison lunch she said, “Thank you, Papa.” After a few bites she looked at me and said, “Papa?” I went over to her thinking she wanted me to fix her something else when she said, “We’ll always be friends.”

12/03 – Allison’s parents took her to the mall to see Santa, hoping to find out what she wanted for Christmas. After getting down off his knee she joined her parents, anxiously awaiting to hear what she had asked Santa for. “You’ll find out on Christmas day,” she said.

11/04 – Megan was two when she looked at a family photo taken several years before. With a sad look on her face she said, “Where’s Me?”

02/05 – Megan and Allison were watching TV at our house when a Hooters ad came on. “My mom doesn’t like Hooters,” said Allison. When I asked why she replied, “Because they wear tiny shorts.” Then Megan added, “And tiny shirts.”

04/05 – Mimi and I took the girls with us on a trip. Mimi got out a map with directions to help us find where we were going. Megan was in her car seat in the back and getting fussy so Mimi handed her the map to hold, which seemed to pacify her. I wasn’t sure where to turn so Mimi grabbed it back from Megan. After a few minutes Megan said, “Um, I’m going to need that map back.”

09/05 – Megan was holding a doll in the back seat of our car and pretending it was her baby. When I asked who the father was she said it was a stuffed animal she had at home. I then proceeded to ask what her husband’s name was. “He’s not my husband,” replied Megan. Then Allison interceded. “Megan, everyone knows when you have a baby the father is the husband.” After a long pause Megan finally said, “Actually, he is my husband.”

11/05 – While driving the girls home Allison noticed a billboard with Shrek on it that was torn. “You know what I think happened, Papa?” she said. “I think they were starting to take the sign down but then the movie stayed longer at the theater so they left it up so people would still know Shrek was around.” Megan, who I didn’t think even noticed the sign or was paying any attention to her sister, said nonchalantly, “I think it was the wind.”

For comments regarding this story Patrick can be reached by e-mail at trippa1111@aol.com.

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