• TheOtherMom

Thank you to the grandparents

Yesterday my 7 year old son discovered cars. It was like a switch flipped and he realized how many different types of vehicles were on the road.

We went for a drive and he peppered me with questions about makes and models and how you can tell what is what.

He wanted to know if the car I was driving was my dream car. And then he was confused why I wasn’t driving my favorite car in the world. I had to explain how a dream car is not necessarily practical when you have a family. That things that seem important when you’re single come after safety and comfort when you’re a mom.

As I made dinner, I handed him the iPad and pulled up a list from Consumer Reports where he could click on the brand and then all the models with pictures and stats. He went through them in the meticulous way he does these things and narrowed down his favorites.

He told me and my husband his plans to get one, and we both smiled at each other and said okay.

But then he kept going. Really wanting to know if his favorite was going to be okay for him and why we never drove one and on and on. It was starting to grate on my nerves a little-I was trying to cook and I don’t know much about cars- so I did the only thing I could think to do in that moment.

We called Grandpa.

Grandpa knows everything there is to know about cars. I wouldn’t even look at a car without his explicit approval and expertise. Like my son, my father has poured through Consumer Reports and memorized every little detail.

It was time to connect the amateur to the expert.

“Grandpa,” my son said excitedly, “I am going to get this car!” He flipped his FaceTime to the iPad so Grandpa could look at the picture.

Instead of placating him- as he has 9 years until he can even drive- Grandpa let out a huge moan, “Noooooo! You can’t get that! That’s rated the worst .... the worst… in resale!”

I giggled to myself. My son didn’t know what resale was, but he got a lesson.

That newfound knowledge didn’t deter him. “But I want it! It looks so fast!”

And then came the anecdotes. “Well your uncle had to rent one when he was on vacation in California and when he got on the highway, it went so slow he almost didn’t make it!”

That took the wind out of my 7 year old’s sails. He definitely didn’t want to be the slowest one on the highway. “But I really love how it looks,” he sighed.

Grandpa did not disappoint. “Well, kiddo, check out this one,” and he directed him to another car. One with good resale, great safety ratings, speed, and it looked very similar.

That was all he needed. My son was thrilled. He wrote it down on a piece of paper, even marveling at the low ticket price. “It’s on sale,” he told me proudly.

They carried on for a while. Now that my little guy realized Grandpa’s vast knowledge of cars, he had a lot of questions. He let him direct him around the website looking at different brands and models and learning why each car was unique.

I eventually rescued Grandpa from the call, although to be honest, I think he was a little sad to hang up.

But that’s the amazing thing about grandparents, isn’t it? They have a lifetime of advice and vast knowledge on things. And the time to explain it.

Grandparents are so special. Maybe it’s just the way they respond when someone has a problem. That special grandma hug. Or his knowledge of the Bible, history, or a foreign language. Grandma’s secret recipe for pasta sauce or banana bread, or that quiet knowledge about gardening. Grandpa’s carpentry lessons and grilling secrets.

The gifts that grandparents can bestow are beautiful treasures, and I’m so grateful my kids have them. I don’t take a minute for granted. These people that taught me the life skills to become an adult, get to give my children something vastly more profound.

Thank you to the grandparents. We couldn’t appreciate you more.

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