My dad was a great dad growing up. He was what I call a “Classic Dad.” He worked, he controlled the TV remote, he had his hobbies (still does… you should try and count his remote control flying airplanes or go check out the real-life race cars he built back in the day)… a true “Classic Dad.” We loved him (still do, obviously) but we were also a little bit scared of him because he was our “Dad” — which, I happen to count as a good thing when you rear-end someone as a teenager and are freaked out to go home because you know you’re gonna have some explaining to do and get yelled at royally (and probably be grounded big time) on account of putting yourself in danger and causing a major auto bill because you weren’t paying attention while you were driving. Right? Right.
But now that I’m a mom, it’s become fascinating to watch my Dad in action as a Grandpa. Might I say that the man I knew as a “Dad” and this new “Grandpa” seem very different in many ways. “Grandpa” is way more chill than I remember “Dad” ever being. It’s really become fun for me to watch… I feel like I’m getting to know him better through his wacky interactions with my girls and vice-versa. Seeing how he fixes Barbie’s old corvette in my parents’ backyard (which was actually my Barbie’s corvette when I was a little girl) has been priceless, not mention a hoot-and-a-half when I caught him and my daughter putting one of my vintage My Little Ponys in the driver’s seat.
Watching how he responds and intently listens when my older daughter addresses him by his nickname, “Buckoo,” (given by her) and then proceeds to talk his ear off is an absolute riot. Catching him cuddling with my younger daughter (who we all say looks just like him and has his same personality) is the sweetest thing. And experiencing my older daughter’s very first teeth-cleaning with her “Buckoo” was really one of the best memories ever (“Buckoo” happens to be a dentist, so it was all legit folks).
We all know that babies bring joy into every family, but to actually experience all the nuances of how babies (and now, toddlers) can give you deeper insight into the people that are most closest to you gets more remarkable the more I experience my Dad as a Grandpa. In an inexplicable way, I actually feel like I’m getting to know him better on account of watching him with my girls. Don’t get me wrong, he still does stereotypical “Grandpa” things that send all of us into alarm-mode every now and then (like, “Where’s the baby, Dad?” “I dunno… where’d she go? She was just here…” as he sits on the couch in front of the TV. Cut to all of us casing the house looking for my 1-year old… sheesh.) ?!?!?!?! But we love him anyways.
Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads-Turned-Grandpas!
ARE YOU GETTING TO KNOW YOUR DAD BETTER BECAUSE OF YOUR KIDS?