posted by Matt W on February 27th, 2013

I’m going to be a really good grandfather.

The other day my daughter asked me a question and as I had been thinking about my grandfather and ignoring her question (In my defense, I didn’t even know she was talking to me, she and her mother talk ALL the time and I had gone to my happy place.), my answer to her was “I’m going to be a really good grandfather.” She responded, “Interesting. I have no doubt you will be a good grandfather, but my question was, ‘Is it a compound or a mixture?”

One thing I have always thought was interesting is that grandfather’s eat food, grandmothers eat meals. My grandparents always kept me well fed. My grandmother would make these huge meals. Breakfast had cinnamon rolls and eggs and bacon.  Dinner always had all the food groups, and usually a pie for desert (she was a good woman). Huge elaborate meals. I ate food with my grandfather. He would ask me if I was hungry and as I always was, he would take me outside and we would pick all the raspberries we could eat. Amazing. A little while later, we would walk outside to the garden and dig up a few potatoes and take them inside and he would make us some sliced sautéed potatoes. Later in the afternoon, we would pick some corn and eat corn on the cob (he had to cut it off the cob because he had false teeth). Listening to a ballgame later, and it was time for something sweet; how about a row or two of Mother’s Iced Oatmeal Cookies. I truly don’t ever remember eating two different foods at the same time while with my grandfather. And while I make meals for my family, whenever I’m on my own, I just walk into the kitchen and eat a food. So I’m all over that one. Check.

Grandfather’s like to show you how to do things. My other grandfather took me outside to where the cows were and while not saying a word fed them. He grabbed a bit of corn from a barrel and some alfalfa from another pile and threw it into the big trough. The next morning we walked outside and he said, “Well, what are you waiting for?” I followed his routine from the previous morning and fed the cows. When I met him inside a little while later, he was already eating his biscuits and gravy. He taught me to use the riding lawnmower the same way; I was 7 at the time. My other grandfather used a few more words when teaching me something for the first time, but I mostly just watched his long thin hands as well. One of my strongest memories from childhood was playing catch with my grandfather. He only had one glove and he let me use it when we were at his house. I remember thinking how tough his hands were, because I could really throw hard. I was about 8 at the time. He had nice form, and I ended up being pretty good at baseball because of it. As the world moves away from doing things with its hands, I’m kind of a throw-back. I’ll carry on the grandfather’s tradition well. Check.

Grandfathers have an interesting place in our society. As they are a step removed from parenting, they usually have a good attitude about hanging out with the “grandkids.” They have the exact right mix of caring for kids, and a screw-you attitude towards the parent. “By the way, Billy and I fixed the short in the dining room light fixture… because it was about to start a fire… don’t worry, he was properly grounded… the fuse? My god, it’s only 110 volts.” “Well, if you didn’t want him to eat a whole row of cookies, you probably shouldn’t have left him with me.” Since, I’ll want to stick it to my kids a bit by the time they have children, I’ll be perfect.  Check.

My grandkids will love me like I did mine.

File Under King of the Castle