“The kids are coming over tomorrow morning.”
But I wanted to write tomorrow morning.
It was a split second thought. A little piece of nonsensical crap that shot through my mind with the force of a bullet. I regretted it the moment I thought it, and I wanted to take it back, but just like a bullet, it wasn’t going to come back. I thought it. I actually thought it. What a kind of crappy grandpa am I turning into? And what the freaking hell do I have to say in my writing that is more important than spending time with my grandkids? Nothing. There is nothing I could write more important than my grandchildren. I am still ashamed it crossed my mind at all, and I am having trouble with reconciling that thought with who I think I am.
I love spending time with the grandkids. I often joke that the best things about grandkids is that you can give them back at the end of the day. And if you have ever had kids you know what I am talking about. I am also sure grandkids feel the same about us. To them we are like parents, but without any of the things that make parents no fun. And if you have ever been a grandkid you know what I am talking about. You could get away with so much fun at grandpa’s house that you could not get away with at home. That is the truest thing that could ever be said about being a grandchild.
So why that thought when I was told the kids were coming over? Just stupid I guess. The idea that I have anything more important to do than spend time with the grandkids is just left over nonsense from my days as a self-righteous young dad of young kids. I always found it easy to pretend there were things I needed to do that were more important than being with my family. Us guys do that. We need to feel important out there in the world. It was a matter of life and death to us. We needed the world to tell us we were something special. And we only had to be told once to get hooked on it.
The problem with your life outside of your family is that is never going to love you the same way your family does. We think it does but it won’t. Not even close. But we often choose the outside world anyway. We are stupid like that.
I am crazy to think that any time I take to write something might be more important than time with my family. It irks me that it crossed my mind at all. These kids love me. They ask for me when I am not around. The outside world doesn’t.
I hope those of you with small kids and grandkids can understand this. You are going to miss them when they are young. The best gift you can ever give your kids and grandkids is great memories in their childhood. Those memories will follow them in their life long after you can’t anymore. You only get one chance to give them the gift of you, so don’t miss it.
I didn’t this time. The kids came over. We watched movies, ran around outside, ate chocolate candies from my hidden stash (don’t tell their mom), and played with Blue (the dog). There was laughing, crying, running, yelling, and pooping in diapers. I would not have wanted it any other way.