One is not always entirely lucky with parents – I myself managed to carelessly mislay one of mine in my early teens, and made do with an incomplete set.
However, with grandparents, I scored a perfect ten. A ten billion. And with a little family magic, my own kids have been just as lucky.
To achieve gold medal standard grandparenting in our family, one must do the following:
1. Regularly reach into an endless supply of spotty bananas kept somewhere, mysteriously, on their person, and insist you eat one.
2. Pretend not to notice your forays into their candy dishes, kept supplied by grandma’s bulging handbag of purloined restaurant mints.
3. Have in their home an ancient bowl of nuts you need to crack open manually.
4. Truly believe in your luminous, Hollywood quality beauty, which would only be improved if you had a third piece of pie.
5. Insist you wear or at least take a sweater when it’s 104 degrees outside.
6. Slip you twenty dollar bills for a six dollar movie ticket.
7. Not only be continually impressed all weekend by the somersault you proudly performed in the pool, but boast about it to everyone else they meet, until you are at least twenty-two.
8. Also tell everyone they meet forever after about the time when you were two years old and you stripped off all your pyjamas and raced out the apartment door after their departing guests, because you didn’t want to go to bed.
9. Read out loud from the obituaries over pancakes.
10. Have a large circle of friends that you don’t know, but who feel inclined to send you gifts.
11. Say “Oy!” (or the cultural equivalent) every time they sit down or get back up.
What characteristics truly say “Grandparent” in your family? (Great Uncles, Great, Great Aunts, Distant Cousins, and Family Friends handily fit the bill in a pinch!)