“Grandparents should be called niceparents!” my son announced proudly from the kitchen at his grandparents’ house.
“Niceparents?” I asked.
“Yes! Because they are so nice!”
The reason that prompted his newfound realization was that Grandma had simply agreed to cut him yet another mango in the shape that he likes.
Niceparents. That stuck with me.
I’m sure fruit cut in thin strips instead of the way I cut it (old, boring, regular cubes) is not the only reason why a grandparent can earn this nickname.
To a child, a loving grandparent is the best person in the world. What makes a grandparent a niceparent is that even after a million requests, grandparents continue to say yes to everything, and they also make everything fun. The kids can have extra syrup on their pancakes and everyone can ask for a different meal of their choice. There’s no bedtime at the grandparents’ house, but there is unlimited playtime, endless laughter, and unconditional love.
When children visit their grandparents’ house, they’re the boss. They can have breakfast in bed if they want to or drink from the fancy glassware, and if they break it there’s no problem. They can have an extra scoop of ice cream, eat the whole pint of blueberries, and bake the most chunky, fat, chewy, big, yummy chocolate chip cookies the size of a personal pizza. There’s always something: their favorite meal, a special treat, a new book, or a new game to play. It’s not only that grandparents are nice, it’s that grandparents know how to love the exact way a grandchild needs to be loved.
Somebody once told me that they couldn’t wait to be a grandparent. As a young person who had no children herself, this made no sense to me. But it makes sense now. To a child, a grandparent is always happy and ready to play. They give the best hugs, cook the most delicious food, and are always game for ice cream. Who wouldn’t want to be a grandparent?
As they say, grandparents should last forever. It’s true, because there is no love as pure and free as the love a grandparent can give to their grandchildren, and vice versa. I am grateful that I get to see my children being loved by their “niceparents.” It’s no surprise that those who have the privilege of growing up with a grandparent in their lives consider themselves lucky—lucky enough to think they should have the word “nice” added to their name.