All three grandkids stopped by yesterday, a grand, hot summer day. I'm on grandpa vacation while my teacher daughter is off for the summer. No daily babysitting. So, I hadn't seen the kids in a few days.
That's a pic of the Peppa Pigs... my three year old girl's current YouTube favorite. The Peppa's are quite droll! Here they are, packing up, most likely to visit their grandparents.
I'm now the lonely old grandpa, waiting impatiently for the kids to stop by. I rushed home from Mass to put on the hamburgers and hot dogs. I finished most of the prep work before I attended church. Like my dad, I stood in the door and watched for my daughter and my grandchildren when they showed up late.
My one year old twins are moving out of the nursery into the big world outside. But, they are moving out slowly. They cautiously checked out the grass in my back yard. My three year old granddaughter will be ready for school soon. But, she still needs lots of mom and grandpa hugs to have the courage to navigate the world.
They'll need grandpa to nanny them for another four years. Then, everybody will be in school full time. Lately, it's occurred to me that I have to start planning for life after they all go off to school. Will I work again?
By the time the kids are all off to school full time, I'll be 70 and I'll have been retired for 8 years. Is it possible to return to work in light of that?
I thought that the picnic in the backyard would be kinda rowdy, but it was too hot and the kids hadn't seen grandpa for a while. So, my daughter and I spent most of the day holding the kids and reassuring them. Which is OK by me. Grandpa got his hugs.
The toddler asked if I would teach her to play piano! How can I do that and make it fun for her so that she continues to play?
For now, I'm deep in grandpa-ing. Next fall, the toddler will go to half day pre-school. She really needs the socializing with other kids, and the twins need to be able to do things on their own, without their sister lording it over them. I'll have all three grandkids half the day, and only the twins for half the day.
For the past three years, I've been enclosed in the nursery with the grandkids. A very quiet, slow and satisfying life.
The next four years will be their transition to school and social life. And, somewhere along that road, they'll need grandpa less.
And, what, then, will grandpa do?