By DARREN HANDSCHUH
I had a brief look into the future the other day.
No, I was not staring at a crystal ball or paid the great 'psychic' Imafullanonesense to tell me what my life will be like when I am older, instead, this glimpse into what is to come was delivered through the school system.
And I have to admit, I rather enjoyed it.
Junior is in Grade 9 and the other day he was handed a baby (a plastic, computerized baby) to take care of for a day.
The baby would cry, be fussy, make noise and even need diaper changes and Junior had to look after the electronic bundle of joy for 18 whole hours, but by the end, I think he gained at least a slight idea of what caring for a little one is all about.
When I came home from work, Junior was sitting at the laptop trying to play Farmville with one hand while rocking the fussy baby with the other.
I could not stop smiling.
"So Junior, how is parenthood going? Having fun?"
"Not really, I can't get her to be quiet."
"The baby is a little fussy, hmmmmm, that sounds familiar. Oh well, let me know how it works out for you."
I then went about making supper, all the while keeping an eye on Junior as he tended to the baby.
Even more smiling.
Junior realized very quickly this squeaky little thing was a lot of work. He could not walk away for a second before the little one starting making noise.
My cheeks still hurt from fall that smiling.
As my kids get close to the end of high school, it will only be a matter of time before they head to college, get married and have little ones of their own.
It is kind of hard to picture myself as grandpa.
My dad's dad was a grandpa and he was old. My dad is a grandpa and he is old, so when I become a grandpa that must mean I am...
Well, I guess I can be a young(ish) grandpa, can't I? Why not? I am sure there are many young grandparents out there, no matter what their birth certificate says, and I plan on being one of them.
When my parents became grandparents I noticed a change in attitude, especially with my dad.
This was not the same man who raised me.
Where were all the rules? Where were all the do's and don'ts?
Who is this man and what did he do with my father?
Case in point.
When Junior was around three years old, he went to the store with grandpa who was getting the morning newspaper.
Upon their return, I noticed Junior was eating something.
"Dad, you did not give Junior chocolate for breakfast?"
"Um, no, well, sort of, but the chocolate has milk in it and there is peanut butter filling as well, so technically, I gave him milk and peanut butter, nothing wrong with that."
Like I said, this is not the same man who raised me.
By watching your parents you learn how to be a parent, and now watching them as grandparents I am getting some idea of the joys of grandparenting.
Basically, the little ones are done on grandpa and grandma's terms.
Junior made a stinky? No problem, call mom and/or dad and they will take of it. Once the changing is complete, grandpappy steps in and takes over.
Kids are fussy, messy, or having a fit? No problem, call mom and/or dad and when the problem is resolved, step in and resume the role of grandpa and/or grandma.
No wonder kids love their grandparents to much. They feed them chocolate for breakfast, all they do is want to do is have fun and they very rarely enforce any of the rules.
I can hardly wait.