Be A Good Grandparent

There’s so much of the world I don’t understand. A lot of it I don’t want to understand. A lot more than I should understand but I don’t.

I started this blog earlier, but it got so preachy and moralistic I couldn’t tell who really wrote it. So I wanted to try one more time.

I went to a Grandparents Day at my grandson’s school last Friday. It was a blast — there were soooo many grandparents there! We all were great moral support for the K through 5 group. Being on two different ends of the age spectrum, I couldn’t help but be invigorated by the enthusiasm and innocence and goofiness of those 50 years younger.

And I wondered.

Where does all this innocence and enthusiasm go?

We all are inundated with the madness of the world: politics, gangs, superstars, billionaires, mass murderers. The list goes on.

And I wondered.

Were these people ever innocent? Were they ever caring, giving, loving?

When did they take the wrong turn in the road?

I look at my own sons. They are different from each other yet they are the same. One is a controller, one works for a restaurant. One is single, one is married. They both have pasts I’m not 100% ready to know (as -I- have one they don’t want to know).  But they made it through high school and college, not much worse for the wear, and we still communicate.

I look at my grandsons. Will they buckle under the pressure? There are a lot of mean kids out there. All sizes, colors, ages and classes. It doesn’t take much to be mean; you can be merely spoiled or off center or just picked on yourself. Everyone goes through the ups and downs of puberty, but some get turned around so much that they never come out the same.

Women have unrealistic expectations thrust at them when it comes to looks and families and men are pressured by salaries and careers and showing up for their kid’s baseball games. We don’t make the rules — we just hear them from other people. We all are pressured to be more, do more, make more, live more.

What happens when more is not enough?

I looked at the innocence of the kids at school and envied them for the moment. For their moment would soon change. It has to change in order to deal with the madness grownups have created.

There are rewards to being older, of course. We know our way through the world, more-or-less know what we want from life, and eventually realize that it doesn’t matter what the rest of the world thinks. Some of us get there at 30…some at 60. Some never get there, always worried about what others will think or say.

I hope my grandkids are spared most of that mind chatter. I hope all of the grandkids on Grandparents Day are raised in a stronger, more accepting world. Help when you can, don’t make bad choices, forgive and move on.

I never had a Grandparents Day — I never knew my grandparents, period.

I wonder if that would have made all the difference in the world. It did with my husband. His grandparents were heroes in his eyes. And no doubt they adored him back.

I hope I have the same effect on my grandkids.


The World is Full of A…Donkies

3328880852_4310e8f431_zI have known for a long time that the world is full of asses.

Now, don’t misunderstand — there are millions of people who have good intentions, good hearts, who go out of their way to help those they’ve never met. It’s part of being human.

I’m beginning to think being an ass is part of being human, too.

Sometimes one can’t help being stupid. Not paying attention, getting older, driving and texting — the reasons go on and on. I put myself am on that list now and then. Case in point. Asking the attendant if I could go in and wash my hands when they were clearly cleaning the bathroom. I knew I should have turned and just gone to another bathroom, but like a deer in the headlights, I stood there stupidly, asking a question that, if I were her, I’d wanna smack me.

But I’m talking about bigger asses. Not ones who are total horrid beings (like those who drag dogs behind their car or put their pit bulls in fights)…that’s for another story (one I’ll probably never write).

I’m talking about asses who on purpose do things that are stupid. Like they spend their lives thinking of ways to step out of the box and into the silly putty. People who on purpose take up two parking spaces. People who speed like crazy in driving around you only to put their signal on 500 yards further and stop and turn in front of you. People who spit out their gum on a busy sidewalk. People who throw their garbage out the car window. People who smash your cart to the side in the store so they can get to their side of the aisle.

What in the hell are wrong with these people?

Is it the thrill of doing something “naughty”? Were they deprived or beaten or super spoiled as a kid and now they need to check out the “other side”? Did they watch the movie Jackass and think it was funny?

I read on Yahoo today a story about two teachers who gave a “certificate” to a learning-challenged child that read, “8th Annual Ghetto Award” and the category was the “huh?” award.

Who does that?

I followed a well-dressed woman to the check out line a few weeks ago, and one of her items was not marked down like the others. Instead of talking it over with the sales person, she belittled her with snide remarks and complained about the store and customer service and demanded to see the store manager. She had the girl almost in tears. And for what? A few dollars discount?

Who does that?

I’ve known people who’ve had their work stolen word-for-word, theory-for-theory, and advertising-for-advertising, by others who wormed  their way in  by “friendship”, taking what they want, and throwing out the rest like the punchline of a joke.

Who does that?

I know people have their patience tested more than ever these days. Between being denied coverage by insurance companies, the price of everything going up, false advertising, hidden fees, rush hour traffic — all of it gets on our nerves one way or the other. But that is a universal burden, not an individualized one. It happens to everyone in one way or another. Why do some people insist on taking out their frustrations on someone they don’t even know?

How many times have you picked the wrong lane to drive in? The wrong lane to check out at the grocery store? Dressed for sun and the weatherman was wrong and it poured? How many times have you come home and found the dog couldn’t hold it and they pooped on the rug? Or the cat threw up on the sofa?

Shit Happens.   But does that give you licence to leave your mark on the world by keying someone else’s car or making fun of the disabled or showing your boobs to the camera?

Most people are able to get over it. When I hear of people being deliberately mean or deliberately stupid, they add to the stress I’ve already had to deal with.  Sometimes their meanness carries over into bullying or shaming. Having gone through that in middle school, I never had the foresight to realize that they were the stupid, messed up one, not me. Now days I’d blast them open a new….well, you know.

Ignorance is one thing. Stupidity is another. Neither one should be part of one’s life. Yet the media thrives on the latter, until we all are nauseated and infuriated at the same time.  To get your stunt in the paper, on TV, even talked about around the dinner table, is enough for some. And until the time stupid people stop doing stupid things, we will be dizzy with them and their tactics.

I guess it takes a world of asses to make the world go round. Or at least to make us dizzy.