This retirement experience has been ongoing since I first retired. Originally my involvement with the grandkids was rather limited, however in the past year I have become more and more involved with various aspects of their life. See the links at end for some of the experiences.
While spending time with the grandkids comes naturally for Mary Ann, it is more of a challenge for me. They have been a priority for her. She enjoys them and they enjoy her. It is great for a child to have a grandparent that you want to spend time with. I kid her that she is constantly earning “Grammy Points” for all the time she spends with them and love she gives them. Those Grammy Points seem to grow with interest.
My approach is different. I like to spend time with them but sometimes I am a bit overwhelmed and can’t handle it for too long. Other times I am not the best suited to a task by myself. Sometimes I think of myself as the relief pitcher in the bull pen that is called on late in the game when the best pitchers have been used or not available and the outcome is not on the line. Or I am the third (or forth) string quarterback. Sometimes I do things when the primary, talented adults are not available. Other times I do them because it is something I can handle well.
During the school year we have a certain routine. Mary Ann and I pick up George and Grace from school almost every day. (Occasionally it is just me doing the honors. That is when I really need to step up my game.) We really only spend about one hour with them on school nights unless they stay for dinner. But there is time before to prepare and time afterwards to unwind. We are consistent with them. Our routine is simple – give them an afterschool snack and get their homework done. After that there are different things we do. Sometimes I ‘wrastle’ with them to expend their built up energy. Sometimes I read with them. And sometimes we all just play games or they play by themselves. But I always try to have fun with them and I try to guide them a little along the way. In the process I have been slowly building up “Papa Points”.
You know when you have built up some Grammy Points and Papa Points when one or two or all three of them call you up and ask to come over and visit us.
As they get older, my involvement will evolve to their needs. As long as they live nearby and we are given the opportunity to be with them, we will continue to build on that relationship.
There will be more retirement experiences with the grandchildren in the future.
I have written about a few of my experiences with the grandkids. Check out these links…
#11 Minor league baseball game
#35 Jumping on a Trampoline with my grandkids
#54 Vacation with Grandkids
#56 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts with Grandkids
#62 Field Trip with Grandchildren