Amy Rees Anderson

We Never Really Grow Up, We Just Learn How To Act In Public

“We never really grow up, we just learn how to act in public.”

The other day my adult daughter commented she’s noticed that me being a grandmother has really brought out the little kid in me.  She said it’s been fun for her to watch me getting down on the floor and playing with my grandkids because as her own Mom she normally only sees me acting like a grown up.    

I wasn’t sure how to explain to my daughter that I’ve always been a kid inside, but as a Parent with your own children you always feel the weight of responsibility that you need to act like you are the grown-up. But when your grandkids come along you no longer have to put on an act – you get to drop the act and be the kid you actually are!  And it is AWESOME!

Seriously, it is so freeing to be a grandparent. You no longer worry that you will mess the grandkids up because that’s now their parents’ job to do, not yours, so you get to have all the fun with them… As a grandparent you are old enough not to worry when the grandkids wipe chocolate on your outfit because you know that most things wash out, and if they don’t wash out, you recognize that the value of your grandchild’s enjoyment is far more valuable than any clothes could ever be… You are wise enough to recognize how quickly those little ones are going to grow up, so you are able to appreciate and savor each moment of time you have with them…. As a grandparent you get to enjoy all the things you were too young, stressed out, and impatient to enjoy while you were busy being a parent.

I believe that becoming a grandparent makes you younger.  You laugh so much that your wrinkles start turning into smile lines. You play so much that your energy goes up and you find yourself always up to going on at least one more ride. And happy meals at McDonald’s are the best because they come with a toy for your grandkids.  As a grandparent your heart truly gets younger even though your body is still getting older.

As George Bernard Shaw once said, “We don’t stop playing because we get old, we grow old because we stop playing.” Grandparents don’t stop playing…in fact, grandparents are all about amp’ing the play time up!!! They are the ones trying to talk the parents out of being so darn strict about bedtime, and grandparents are the ones asking mom and dad to let the grandkids have just one more treat before they go.

All I know is that this Grandma, for one, won’t be sleeping at all this Christmas Eve. Not because I’m stressed getting prepped for Santa to come, as that’s now the parents job, but because I am so darn excited to see my grandkids open the ridiculous number of presents I couldn’t stop myself from buying them – which I did without having to stress about where they will store them, or how to put them together, or any of the other things their parents can grow old worrying about 😉 ….ah, yes….the joy of grandparenthood…(tee hee)…its the BEST!

~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the newly released book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )

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