Tuesday, May 21, 2013


How do we go about selecting a grandparent persona? It seems logical that we would bring our best parenting strategies to the table, but Cory and I want to be selective about the ways we interact with our grandsons. We want to be remembered around the family dining table years from now through fun stories and traditions of our own as grandparents.

Our boys with their Grandma, Madge
Cory was going on a trip this week, so I took out his mother's famous molasses cookie recipe to make his favorite cookies to take on the road. As I looked at her handwriting, I decided we should be more like his mother when it came to having a special relationship with grandchildren. Madge Shaffer was highly educated in the Greek and Latin classics, yet she adapted to the changing times as she aged, without compromising what was important. She loved to make banana bread, apple dumplings, and molasses cookies for the boys and was current on the things that mattered.

She would never have texted in abbreviated form, gotten a tattoo, pierced anything, or used the current vernacular to be popular with the grandchildren. She didn't need to. She had the grandma persona thing down...homemade bread, jams, cookies, hand written notes, and a genuine interest in the lives of her grandchildren.

Fortunately, my son and daughter-in-law have established a very clear foundation with respect to behavior and manners, and Cory and I continue to model the traditions and upbringing that we passed to our sons, and they to theirs. With all of that hard work already in place, I think we're due some wiggle room to establish some Pops' house rules. For example, here it's okay to drink the milk or last of the melted ice cream from the bottom of the bowl like Pops does. The boys understand that's only okay here, and they share a little moment with Pops when they lift their bowls. So, we'll continue paying more than lip service to the values passed to us, while we let the boys share a quick wink over a tipped up bowl of ice cream.