Mazel Tov! It’s a Zaidy!
What? Am I changing my title? Writing a new book? Having amnesia?
None of the above (yet), actually. I just decided to write about my perception of what it must feel like to be a Zaidy. Of course this is only guess-work, as one can never know what another person is feeling. Yet, still I tend to observe behaviors and patterns. Therefore, based on my “research” on the various Zaidies (grandfathers) that I have known, I have reached a conclusion.
Here are the 7 habits and theories of successful grandfather-hood.
Disclaimer: The examples below are purely fictional. Any resemblance to a grandfather in a reader or even this blogger’s life, is purely coincidental. And yes, this disclaimer is absolutely honest and sincere! (notwithstanding previous post “disqualifying disclaimers”)
* Zaidies take pride in their Zaidy-hood. Just as grandmothers feel happy and proud to be in that new status of doting on her grandchildren, and spoiling them rotten, so do grandfathers. This is quite interesting, especially keeping in mind that men are from Mars and women are from Venus (or is it the other way around? I forget…). But in this case, grandfathers are equally crazy about their grandchildren, and relish the time they have with them – just like their female counterpart, the Bubby.
*A Zaidy has no qualms about being or feeling old. Unlike the Bubby, who likes to remain young and cool, the Zaidy is not interested in that sort of thing. In fact, the Zaidy ages quite UNgracefully in his role as Grandfather. He gets white hairs, wrinkles on his forehead and a pot belly, faster than one can shout the words, “Mazel Tov!” at the bris or kiddush for his first grandchild.
*A Zaidy has zero patience for diapering his grandchildren. If he was the kind to diaper his own kids when they were small, consider those skills completely forgotten. Once he puts his official Zaidy cap on, he loses all abilities to place velcro over plastic of the diaper. Finished. Kaput. Done. Don’t expect it and all members of the family will be happy.
*The best way to get a Zaidy to relax is to put a grandchild on his lap. Even if the Zaidy is eating lunch on Shabbos, or doing work at his desk during the week, or otherwise occupied, he will be most agreeable to having a small child interrupt his activity and will smile, coo and wink at that child.
*Zaidies love telling stories of their own childhood to all who listen. Good listeners often include the grandchildren. This penchant for storytelling begins around when the moms and dads of said children leave the kids with the Zaidy for babysitting. Said children are to be found on Zaidy’s lap when parents return, well taken care of, well-storied, and well educated. No comment on the status of the cleanliness of clothes or mess in the home.
*Zaidies love to teach, to instruct, and to pass on skills. Whatever skills their own children resisted are given a “second chance” to be integrated into the next generation’s psyche. So for example, if Zaidy’s own children hated astronomy, Zaidy has another chance with his grandchildren, and he buys his first grandson a telescope at the first opportunity.
*Zaidies get quieter as they get older. The more talkative the Bubbies get, the quieter the Zaidy’s become.
There you have it – The 7 Habits of Successful Zaidy-hood. (and of course the old adage that “all generalizations are false”… applies here – for those who find this post highly generalized!)