When God was designing the family, he saved one important aspect for the very last. You know, as well as I know, the best is usually saved for last. Perhaps, and I’m merely conjecturing here, God needed a lot of practice to get something exactly the way he wanted it. He has this thing about perfection.
If you notice the order of things, you have to be a parent for a long, long time before graduating into becoming a grandparent.
I’ve been thinking along these lines because recently my wife and I had our fifth grandchild. Both grandparents are doing fine, thank you. Becoming a grandparent, as you know, is very hard work. If the work is not done properly, the grandchildren in question will be jeopardized. As much as grandparents try, it is hard to space the grandchildren evenly. It can take one brief moment of indiscretion to become a parent, but it takes years to become a grandparent.
I’m not bragging, but for some reason God has blessed us with the world’s most perfect grandchildren. And I have the pictures to prove it.
Some grandparents fallaciously brag about their grandchildren and how perfect and beautiful they are and bring out a wallet full of pictures to bore those of us who really do have perfect grandchildren.
I must confess when our children were growing up, they showed no indication whatsoever of producing the world’s most perfect grandchildren. If the truth were known, several times during their life I did not think they would reach the grand old age of 18.
I well remember the day we brought our first-born home from the hospital: a high watermark day in our life, I assure you. At this stage, children are so adorable. Who knows what shenanigans lie hidden behind those beautiful eyes? Certainly, new parents don’t know, for sure.
Somehow, and don’t tell me how they do it, unborn children have developed an elaborate conspiracy against parents.
The conspiracy goes something like this. The first child born is always a great delight. They usually sleep well at night and brighten up the home so much that after a month or so the parents look at each other dreamily and say, “Wouldn’t it be nice for junior to have a playmate?”
This is exactly what the first child wants to hear.
The second child is vastly different from the first child. It does not sleep at night, it has its days and nights mixed up, or so they would have us believe. The fact is the two children have an arrangement where one sleeps while the other one cries. When one is tired of crying, it falls asleep only to awaken the first baby who resumes the job of crying. The whole plan is to deprive parents of as much sleep as possible.
About this time the parents acclimate to the situation, look at each other again and say, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a third baby?”
The first two children hear this and giggle, knowing their plan is working out quite nicely.
The third child comes home vastly different from the first two. With three children in the home, they can work in eight-hour shifts, wearing down the parents in preparation for the teenage years.
Every child knows that unless a parent’s resistance is compromised in their infancy, during their teenage years it will be difficult, if not impossible, to control those parents.
Within 13 years the parent’s nerves will be so shot, they may even despair of life itself.
Then, miracle of miracles, one by one the children marry and move out of the home.
At first, parents do not know what to do. They go to the refrigerator, expecting it to be empty, and to their surprise, it is just as it was when they looked the last time. Walking to the living room is a treat. No dirty socks hanging from a light shade, no shoes piled up in the middle of the room and no lights on when nobody is in the room. When the telephone rings, it is actually for them. This at first is a great shock to most parents and it takes about a year to adjust.
Then, something happens, transforming the world, making up for all those years of torture, torment and trepidation.
The first child comes home with the spouse and makes a formal announcement that will eventually change their world. “Mom, Dad, we’re expecting a baby.”
There is nothing quite like grandchildren to make up for those years of terror.
When our first grandchild came home, I wondered how children that have terrorized your life for years produce the world’s most perfect grandchildren.
Perhaps the secret to the world’s most perfect grandchildren lies with their grandparents. Be it far from me to take credit where credit is not due, but the facts line up quite nicely on my side.
These wonderful grandchildren get their “perfect genes” somewhere — and definitely not from their parents. The only logical conclusion for the thinking person is Grandparents. That is why we are called “grand.”
It is my personal conviction that God gives grandchildren as an apology for children. One grandchild can cause any grandparent to forget hundreds of years of torture.
Even the Bible sings the praises of grandchildren. “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.” (Proverbs 17:6 KJV)
If perfection is in the eyes of the beholder, I am holding perfection when I hold my grandchildren.