As circumstance would have it, and I like to give circumstances due credit, I was visiting my grandchildren without the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.
With the opportunity before me to go solo with the grandchildren, I determined to make the best of it. I never know when this kind of a situation will repeat itself. When my wife is with me, she always holds the reins, but now I have nobody to curtail my visit with the grandchildren. I am a freelance grandpa.
What many people may not know is that there are rules governing the successful grandfather. Most people do not know these rules because the most prominent grandparent is usually the grandmother.
The first rule that should be understood is simply this: whatever makes the grandchildren happy makes the grandfather happy. This brings out the unselfish nature of grandfatherhood. It is a wise, not to mention happy, grandfather who invests his resources in making the grandchildren happy.
Another rule associated with grandfathers is rather basic. Jelly beans are fruit. Anybody with any kind of common sense can see the different colors of jelly beans and understand that they represent fruit. It is the dutiful responsibility of a grandfather to have an endless supply of jelly beans on his person at all times. After all, children do need their fruit.
While on the subject of food, another rule has to do with vegetables. Every grandfather knows that vegetables are not all that grandmothers say they are. And broccoli is absolutely forbidden when grandpa is sitting at the table.
Also, when grandpa is at the table the order of the dinner is drastically changed. For example, the dessert should be eaten first because of the danger of eating too much and not having enough room for the dessert at the end of the meal.
With the children’s health in mind, this next rule is crucial. Jumping on the furniture is good exercise, especially when grandpa hits the ceiling with his head. And because of the great deal of laughter involved in such exercise, it adds to their health and longevity. I read somewhere where laughter adds to your life. Whether it is true or not is immaterial, the fact is children need to laugh and laugh a lot. Grandmothers do not understand.
Then, as long as grandpa is staying overnight, bedtime is merely a goal. This idea of having an exact bedtime is not healthy, especially when grandpa is visiting. Bedtime should be a negotiable commodity, not something that is an exact science. What does science have to do with going to bed at night? Leave science at school where it belongs.
Understanding the rules enables everybody to enjoy the time together. Without rules, there would be chaos. With grandpa’s rules, the chaos is a marvelous harmony of joy, excitement and fun. Every grandchild needs a grandpa who understands the grandpa rules and who has the opportunity to exploit those rules.
There is one rulebook that I go by implicitly. That book is the Bible. It is the most profitable book I have ever discovered. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
When you know the rules of life, it becomes a wonderful and exciting adventure.
Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, P.O. Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. He can be reached at 1-866-552-2543 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
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