Monday, August 30, 2010

Grandpas are Like That

Grandparents are great.  They really are.  If you are travelling in China, and need a fork... some Grandma will have one for you, it may not even be YOUR Grandma... but it won't matter to her, she will still give you a fork.  If you need a kleenex?  Hand sanitizer?  Whatever... some Grandma somewhere will open her purse and help you out.

This last while though, something struck me about Grandpas... and more specifically, OUR Grandpas, and how different they can be.

Firstly, lets meet the Grandpas.

Grandpa N
Grandpa P
Now these Grandpas are AWESOME.  They spend time with the kids, and play, and take them for ice cream all all that sort of stuff.  However, they both connect quite differently with the children...

On our last visit to Winnipeg, Grandpa P took our son D fishing a couple of times.   And D loved it!  They even caught a couple of fish.
The fish the Grandmas had to clean!
He has taught our son K how to make wine...
K corking a bottle
... he even taught them how to play the accordion... thank goodness, he can't play the bagpipes.

Now, Grandpa N has done similar things... He has taken the kids swimming.
Taking Ping for a Swim
But like I said, there are a few things the Grandpas do different... :-)

The Boys:  DAD!  DAD!  Grandpa N is online!
Me:  Cool!  Did you guys message him?
Boys:  Yea!  He got StarCraft II (the video game we stood in line for)!
Me:  Yea, I know.  He told me yesterday.
Boys:  Can we play with him??!?!  CAN WE!!!
Me:  Absolutely.  Here, let me log you guys into the game online, and you can play WITH Grandpa N.
Boys:  Thanks Dad!  Okay Gramps!  Gets go kill some Zerg!
Me:  Oh hey Dad, umm... K is playing you first... Don't expect him to take it easy on you... good luck!  :-)

And with that, the boys were spending some quality time with thier Grandpa online... killing... zerg.  *siiigh*  It almost brought a tear to my eye!  So I wander upstairs and put the girls to bed.  A few minutes later, I'm back downstairs...

Son D:  Hey Dad!  K NUKED GRANDPA!!!
Me:  What?!
Son D:  Yea!  He nuked him!
Me:  Okay, you guys need to play WITH Grandpa, not AGAINST.  Be nice!
Boys:  Okay...

The boys were flying high after playing WITH Grandpa.  It was actually, a very special time with them all.

I guess it is very silly of us to try to judge what "quality time" should look like.  There are some things which ARE importantly, like, physical touch, and other things which can't be replaced.  But to see how much fun the boys had with their Grandpa... well... its hard to argue that they didn't make a connection there.

And each family is different.  What works for one family, what is special, and what draws the family close together, is probably different for every family.  Because I can NOT see Grandpa P EVER playing StarCraft II with the Boys online!  :-)

So maybe there is no "normal"... and maybe, thats a good thing.


  1. good point re "what quality time looks like." I've never thought of online gaming with the kiddos and their distant relatives. Great idea!
    Nancy-of the crazy 8s

  2. I know Grampa N and he is awesome! It's cool he got SC3