I noticed a new behavior among my friends after they became grandparents. Suddenly the kids coming over took precedence over everything. If we had plans to get together, a call would come, "The kids are coming over. They need ..." and with that, our plans had to be rescheduled.
I decoded the message. First, when they referred to the kids they didn't mean their children so much as their grandchildren. But it seemed subtly alluding to being needed by your adult children was a more acceptable reason for canceling plans with friends than saying you heard the siren song of your grandchild. Once I figured that out, it wasn't hard to realize: my friends would rather be with their grandchild than with me. I thought maybe it was just me; but I asked around and it appeared others were encountering this same exchange with their grandparent friends.
Now that I'm a grandparent I have uncovered the real truth. My friends did prefer the company of their grandchild to my company, but they had good reason. Grandchildren are simply more fun than friends.
Here are five reasons why being with my grandson is more fun than being with my friends:
1. My grandchild does not take part in what Nora Ephron referred to as the organ recital. He has never once mentioned his buddy's emergency gallbladder surgery or talked about his neighbor's aunt's cousin who died suddenly from an exploding colon.
2. Toys mean joy and he has lots of them. When I'm with my friends I never roll marbles on a track we've built together. We rarely finger paint with shaving cream. Plus, I can't remember the last time one of my friends invited me over to race cars on the living room floor. Bouncing those off the walls and furniture? It's a blast.
3. Conversation flows effortlessly. I never have to figure out what he really means. If he requires attention he says politely,"Grammy, please show up." We have no awkward moments in which I have to determine whether something I've said has offended him. He's actually impossible to offend. He's three; he doesn't understand the meaning of offend.
4. Spontaneous dance parties have never broken out when I'm out to dinner with friends. But with my grand boy, we can bust a move at any moment. What could be more fun than dancing with abandon and not caring in any way how you look?
5. Laughter happens. Constantly. At nothing and everything. And, it is often accompanied by kisses ... and giggling. How long has it been since you giggled with friends?
There are those reasons and one more, perhaps the most compelling of all. No one in the world is happier to see you than your grandchild. When was the last time one of your friends screamed your name, ran toward you and jumped into your arms?
If you're part of the secret society of grandparents who know this unspoken truth, you may enjoy my children's book, Real Grands: From A to Z, Everything A Grandparent Can Be. Share it with someone who's a ton of fun!
For more fun reads about family, please visit my blog at deborahdrezoncarroll.com.