The joys of grandparenting and other low-level disasters

The joys of grandparenting and  other low-level disasters

Her message was as simple and straight forward as it could possibly be. “Hope you can get back soon. Losing my mind!”

It was my wife Kristin, mother of my own children and “Gee Gee” to a couple of additional descendants who had been entrusted to our loving care. We had recognized the pair as our grandsons before their parents jetted away for a long weekend, but as the minutes, hours and days ticked by, it became more and more evident our sweet, little boys had been replaced with studio actors in some sort of deranged reality comedy.

I felt her pain. I had done my “solo flight” with the boys at the beginning of the weekend after picking them up from daycare on Friday afternoon. Kristin was teaching a painting class that evening, so it would be entirely up to “Papa” to feed, entertain and marginally control the chaos until such time as I could confidently tuck them in and make it stick.

The evening ended with a bedtime story and a graciously answered prayer that the boys would sleep through the night, lest Grandpa wake up feeling like a bag of bung holes. Kristin made it to the kids’ place after the world had gone silent. It wouldn’t remain that way for long.

There’s a good reason children come along relatively early in the lifespan of humans. And the fact that fertility diminishes as we age is one of the greater evidences of a wise and loving God. Old people are not made to herd toddlers for any extended period of time. I say this in full acknowledgement that it outs me as an “old person.”

Hear me clearly: I am not insinuating our boys are bad. They are just boys. And at the ages of just past 3 and just past 1, they would probably rate out at highly civilized if observed in a laboratory setting. Life, however, is not a laboratory. It is a world filled with walls to climb, diapers to fill and food to fling across the room with unabated joy. As a young parent, I recall dreaming of the day when I would no longer have to deal with such things. As a grandparent, grateful as I may be for the experience, I find myself dreaming of the very same thing all over again!

Kristin’s not-so-subtle message of distress had been waiting for me when I’d made it back to the truck at the end of a muddy, bloody, two-hour-long mountain bike race I’d signed up for well before our “babysitting weekend” had been booked. In complete naivety we had assumed one grandparent could easily do the job of two for a brief period of time. Hindsight reveals our math was way off.

Grandparenting is a job best enjoyed together, and from here on out — at least until they grow beyond the toddler stage — that’s the only way we intend to approach it!

Kristin and John Lorson would love to hear from you. Write Drawing Laughter, P.O. Box 170, Fredericksburg, OH 44627, or email John at

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