Thursday, February 16, 2012

Being Grandad...

This entry was contributed by Five Town CTC Board member William Shuttleworth, superintendent of schools for the Five Town CSD and MSAD #28.

I have a 16-year-old grandson. I love him to death and have done a million things with him, such as hiking, playing endless games of basketball, taking him snowboarding, a trip to the Grand Canyon, down to Philadelphia to see King Tut on display and endless nights of hanging out doing “nothing.” 

Yet, the press of his peers beats granddad, mom and dad, almost every time. He knows more than we all do together, looks at us with gratitude that breathing is automatic, that, being so dumb, we would forget to do otherwise.  He bristles when we talk to him, barely makes it through dinner without eyes almost rolling out of his head and has reduced his communications to head gestures and grunts. He stays out late, shows all the signs of smoking dope, failed all his first semester classes and has just about driven us all out of our minds.

Easy to cave in and just let him go about his life, isn’t it?  Well, for a second it might, but he is our boy and we know that someday, he too, will look back at this time, as just a very, very hard road.  So, what do we do? I text him everyday and tell him I love him, or say some typical, effusive “grandad-like” exclamation.  I comment on the Grammies, the Super Bowl, ask if he has ever tasted the new Twixt Ice Cream stick or tell him I will come to take him to lunch.   Most of the time I don’t hear back from him.   I was too busy doing my stuff yesterday and I got a text, from my grandson, “Hey, how come I didn’t hear from you today?”

Folks, your kid is still listening, watching, wanting you.  Remain that pain in the butt, tell him you love him, give him those hugs, go to Subway and just listen to him, take a drive, just go anywhere with this captive audience.  He won’t let you know that it counts.  But it does.

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