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Grandparenting on Cape Cod . . . just for fun . . .

Written by Betty Foust

Is it any surprise to anyone living on Cape Cod that the Cape is a Mecca for grandparents? We are legion! Take a drive to any supermarket, department store or restaurant (especially during the early bird specials). Five minutes driving time along scenic Rt. 6A will probably bring you smack dab behind a grandparent also enjoying this scenic road at the rate of 10 MPH ... tops! Don't be alarmed if you can't see the top of her head. The car is not driverless. Many Cape Cod grannies are only three and a half feet tall. Where do you think the phrase "little old ladies" came from? The dear sweet things are not only enjoying the view; they are probably admiring pictures of their grandchildren.

Casually mention grandchild in any given square foot of the Cape and scores of wallets will open, releasing acres of snapshots. Adorable children in various poses will appear, including some of the bearskin rug variety. You know the type I mean, guaranteed to embarrass said child in 15 years or so when Granny whips it out to show the boy or girlfriend of said child.

Did you ever meet anyone more boring than a first time grandparent? You'd think that once the kids were finally out of the house and on their own, parents could relax and pay attention to each other for a change. They could reclaim their car, do all the things they had secretly wanted to do during their retirement. Maybe they could take a trip or attend some interesting courses together at 4 C's. Since money wouldn't be so tight, these things were now an option. Doesn't that sound like the mindset of a very selfish Senior? It was exactly the way I thought or at least the way I thought I thought. Was I in for a surprise! From the second you hear your child is pregnant, (those of us with sons refer to "them" as being pregnant), something uncontrollable takes over. It's more contagious than the flu. Perhaps some hormone kicks in that scientists have yet to identify. Grandpas are just as susceptible as Grannies.

I thought I'd be above all that. Was I ever wrong! They don't tell you that just one glance at that baby is all it takes and you are hooked. Those heartstrings start tugging and never stop. It's worse than when you had your own babies. Somehow that "son of my son" thing takes on a whole new meaning. Here is your own dynasty starting.

How wonderful it is to be a grandmother never realized I would feel this way. I get to hold my little darling, cuddle, coo, rock, change or not, devour him with kisses all I want and hand him back if he gets fussy or I get fussy. I even get to have a full night's sleep, something that was rare when his father was his age.

I sing him all the songs I sang his father and then some. Although he's only 3 weeks old, I know he loves my voice, because he actually smiled during my rendition of Baby Baby Doo Wap a Doo Doo. No, it wasn't gas! A Grandmother knows these things. When one has a superior child, what can one expect?

Funny how all those boring grandparents don't seem as boring anymore. In fact all those snaps of their grandchildren are very interesting as we compare our darlings with each other. We are constantly bragging about their alleged achievements. I collected a multitude of snaps in 3 weeks starting in the hospital nursery. I couldn't help gloating to myself a little as I noticed how much more beautiful my Sean was compared to all the other babies. Far be it from me to say a word though.

Did I mention that Sean smiled at 3 weeks and appears to favor my side of the family? Did you notice his uncommon beauty and how intelligent and strong he is for his age? What can you expect when he has an abundance of his grandmother's genes. . . okay, maybe a smattering of his grandfather's also. I must ask my son if he has checked out early acceptance to Harvard or MIT.

Did I tell you . . . .oh never mind, I'm off to buy some more film and a bearskin rug.


   

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