Grandparents Day is Sunday, September 8th!


Don’t forget about Grandparents Day–this Sunday, September 8th! Oh, you didn’t even know it existed? Me neither… until I started writing for DC Area Moms Blog. And – shame on me! My grandparents were awesome and I should have brought them flowers and/or Popsicle stick, clumpy glue, handmade crafts every year to let them know.

My family…

One side of my family is Italian and the other, Irish. They were about as stereotypical as you could get. My Italian grandparents cooked… and every Sunday was a family dinner of pasta a.k.a. “sauce”. My Irish side liked bars and keeping their feelings inside for all eternity. Each pair of my grandparents were different, but they got along with each other… and they were the best grandparents my sister and I could have wanted.

When my parents talk about their upbringings and my grandparents, it’s like they’re talking about completely different people. It’s not that I don’t believe their stories. It’s just hard to accept that the ultra-strict parents they describe were the same people I knew. 

For example, my aunt says my grandparents never did anything fun with her and her siblings. She claims they even stopped buying Christmas presents for her one year. They just gave her cash. So, she bought her own presents, wrapped them, put them under the tree and acted surprised as she unwrapped them the next morning. Eh, what can ya say? She was their fourth child… maybe they were over it.

One day, when my aunt was grown, she came over to my grandparents’ house as they were putting the last few things in a picnic basket and getting ready to leave. They were taking my sister and I on a picnic. “You DO THAT?!,” my aunt said. She was blown away. Where had they gotten a picnic basket? How did they know what a picnic basket was? Her entire childhood she had never seen said basket. She was even more blown away when my grandparents followed through and took my sister and I on a picnic. They let her come too… after she asked.

Another time, my aunt came over to my grandparents to find my grandpa in front of an open freezer filling two ice cream cones with vanilla ice cream. My grandfather was a strong, gruff man and moments like this were rare. He and my aunt were going to sit down for ice cream together! Ice cream he scooped for her no less! 

After he was done, he put both the cones in the freezer and shut the door. “Dad, what are you doing?,” my aunt said. My grandpa said my sister and I were coming over soon and we liked ice cream when we walked in the door. Spoiled, much? “Well, you know, I like ice cream,” my aunt responded. “Well, you know where the G.D. ice cream is.” He didn’t say G.D., but I’m trying to tone it down for this post. He did, however, say that to my aunt before walking out of room without a second thought on the therapy my aunt would probably be needing.

My point in all this is…

Something changes in a person when they become a grandparent. Just because they weren’t “Father of the Year” doesn’t mean they won’t have pre-made ice cream cones ready to go for your kids the second they walk in the door. 

My husband and I are lucky in that our parents are wonderful parents AND wonderful grandparents. We moved to Maryland from Los Angeles to be closer to family and they have not disappointed one bit. They think nothing of dropping everything if we need them, getting in the car or hopping on a plane and being here for their grandkids.

Don’t take good grandparents for granted. Not everyone has that. Some grandparents just, frankly, aren’t into the whole grandparent thing. Or some people don’t live near family. Now, families are families, and not every moment is going to be enjoyable. My grandmother used to talk about me like I wasn’t in the room and ask my mother if I cut my hair myself. You know, stuff like that. But unfortunately, people just don’t last forever. So cherish the moments while you have them. Make sure to wish nana & papa a Happy Grandparents Day and maybe treat them to a vanilla cone or a picnic this time around.