There are a million reasons to hug your grandparents, starting with they’ll hug you back – Chicago Tribune
Heading over the river and through the woods this holiday?
Good. Because we’re waiting.
We grandparents were temporarily sidelined by the pandemic but we’re back, ready to do what grandparents do best, which is, ahem, just about everything.
We bring a lot to the table, and not just doilies and homemade fudge.
Grandparents bring the memories. Then can tell you in detail what life was like when Marshall Field’s, “Creature Features,” TV Guides and 50/50 soda were standards.
Grandparents have the best horror stories. Did you know girls are so tough they used to make them wear dresses to school, every day, even in January? Did you know phones used to be anchored to the wall and in order to talk privately with your friends you’d have to stretch that cord clear across the kitchen, all the way into your bedroom? Can you believe there used to be no way to fast forward through commercials? yeah scary
Grandparents don’t mind messes. Mom and Dad may run from things like glitter, sand and kitchen counter volcanic eruptions. But Gram and Gramps say, “Let’s do it.” Because they have vacuums. And because chances are, they are the ones who bought the glitter, sand and volcanic eruption kits.
Grandparents are blank canvasses, lumps of clay, bundles of eager confusion, ready and willing to be transformed into a child’s fantasy. Ogre from the mountaintop? Grrr. Dinosaur prey? Ow, ow, ow. Standin for Bluey’s dad about to get his nails done? Pink, please.
Just name it. Oldsters are versatile, one minute dying a slow, painful death in the jaws of a velociraptor, the next rescuing a princess who has been sleeping for a hundred years and yet, oddly enough, is still the most beautiful thing in the whole, wide world .
Grandparents are willing to sacrifice body parts to the cause. Sure, you can paint my face. Of course, you can put that spider tattoo on my neck. And, yes, you can use all of the Ace bandages in our medicine cabinet to wrap Grandpa like a mummy.
Grandparents are the best fans. They’re also masters at hyperbole. Every crayon drawing is a masterpiece. Every Play-Doh sculpture should be preserved under glass. And every suggestion that they “watch how fast I can run” is reason to contact The Guinness Book of World Records.
Grandparents appreciate bodily function humor, perhaps because bodily function accidents hit a little close to home. They, too, laugh hysterically at unexpected burps, spills and toots.
Grandparents are forgiving. Perhaps because they are forgetful. “My mom said I have to apologize for trampling your snapdragons.” “What snapdragons?”
Grandparents have money. This is not to say they’re loaded. Rather, they have actual cash. dollars. nickels. quarters These are things kids today have never seen. Kids can hold the cash, play with it, stuff it into their toy ATM machines. And someday, who knows, grandparents may even teach them that old-fashioned magic trick called “making change.”
Grandparents are welcoming. They empty cabinets to accommodate sippy cups and make space in the fridge for princess yogurt pouches and bottles of breast milk. They remove bookcases in their dens to make room for Barbies and Hot Wheel tracks. And they delete the names of acquaintances, important dates and hard-learned university studies from their brains to allow for things like Super Mario strategies, My Little Pony plotlines and long, long Christmas lists.
Grandparents are willing science experiments. They’ll eat that cookie with 20 pounds of sprinkles on top. They’ll drink that magic potion that is an eerie mix of Lucky Charms, water, Swedish Fish and cucumbers. And they’ll accept that challenge to blow up 25 balloons even if means they pass out a little.
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Grandparents have vision. When pointed out by young observers, yes, they can see wild animals in puffy clouds. They get why sidewalk cracks can suddenly become hot, bubbling lava. And they agree that every Amazon box is a fort/space ship/time machine waiting to happen.
Grandparents are good losers. They don’t mind being the one to break the ice. They can handle being called Old Maid. And they’ll always, always pass up the chance to buy the video arcade in Monopoly Junior because someone else might want it.
Grandparents appreciate the importance of now. They seize the moment because they know, very quickly, the moment will be gone.
Grandparents do a lot to make the world a better place. They encourage, indulge and champion our nation’s youth. They bring smiles, creativity, wonder and support.
So, now that we can again, hug those grandparents. Of course, they’ll hug you back. And they might even give you a real quarter.
Donna Vickroy is an award-winning reporter, editor and columnist who worked for the Daily Southtown for 38 years.
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