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Columnist John Moore’s grandson, Ethan, catches more fish than him. And he’s just fine with that.

There is a bond between a grandfather and his grandchildren that is like no other. He would trade all that he has for that one, single feeling that his grandchildren bring to him each time that they talk, smile, walk into a room, or proudly tell him that they’ve caught more fish than he has.

When you are a child, you love your parents, but there is a bond between you and your grandparents that is unique.

One could speculate that this is a direct result of a grandparent’s ability to spoil their grandchildren and avoid the consequences by sending them home to their parents.

There is some truth to that, but speaking from experience, I think that it has more to do with the fact that the takeaway from raising your own children is that you worried too much about things that really didn’t matter.

Who cares if the kids stay up a little later than normal every now and then? What does it really matter if a kid eats ice cream in the morning? Why shouldn’t a kid be able to ask questions about things they don’t understand, just because you’re not comfortable with the subject?

Most people parent the way that their parents did it. There’s an absence of experience that typically makes a parent err on the side of caution when it comes to raising their kids. 

In other words, more restrictive and conservative.

By the time you have grandchildren, you have a much clearer picture of what matters and what doesn’t.

It’s why I have given my grandchildren banana splits for breakfast, but my children were lucky to get Raisin Bran.

It’s almost as if things are the reverse of how they should be.

When you’re young and have the stamina to chase kids around, you don’t have the life experiences to really allow your children, or yourself, to enjoy child rearing.

But there’s a reason that God gives babies to young people. And it has everything to do with the physical ability to keep up with them.

By the time you’re a grandparent, things in your body that you didn’t even know you had, begin to stop working. You also typically have learned that patience really is a virtue. Fretting about the little things is just a waste of time.

When you’re young and raising a family, you are so distracted by trying to keep all the plates in the air without dropping any of them that it is difficult to recognize how great that time in your life is — which hinders you from finding the joy in many things.

But age and wisdom bring clarity. It’s why grandparents don’t worry so much about red Kool-Aid, banana splits for breakfast, or what time it is.

Life is short, and I thank Almighty God for all of my many undeserved blessings. But for my grandchildren, I am so, so grateful.

If you’re a parent who is raising kids and have disagreed with everything you’ve read here, just hang tight. I was once sitting where you are.

When you become a grandparent, you’ll not only understand, you’ll do the same thing I’ve done.

You’ll wish that you’d understood sooner.

John’s book, “Write of Passage: A Southerner’s View of Then and Now,” is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can reach John through his website at www.TheCountryWriter.com.
 

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