Potamus is obsessed with the older generation. Where I feel angsty in my relation to members of my family, I fully realize that it’s because I think through all the scenarios, overanalyze motives and past experiences, and think about how I relate to everything around me. Potamus, on the other hand, is just a ball of feeling. He gravitates toward love and the ease in which grandparents can navigate the world of relating to children. They get to provide a 5th scoop of ice cream (ugh, thanks mom for THAT precedent) or sneak him another slice of chocolate cake simply because, “well, he asked for more” (ugh, thanks dad for THAT precedent!). Grandparents get to live in a world of joyful moments without the stress of having to put them down to bed every night or deciding just what warrants discipline. Every time with grandkids can be a ‘treat,’ even if the babysitting duties stretch on for a few hours or the weekend. I’m not going to come home and be annoyed that all the kid ate is popcorn all weekend, because as long as he’s alive, we’re golden.
And Potamus is obsessed with his Grammies and buppas. Literally follows them around and when he sees them he runs across the courtyard or driveway to give them a big hug. It’s very sweet. His experience of my parents, or my in-laws, will be different than my experience, and that’s okay. I loved seeing him take my dad by the hand to a quiet place to play with trains and read stories this weekend when he was overwhelmed interacting with all 25+ family members milling about in my parent’s house. I loved hearing him say, “bye buppa! bye buppa!” all the way down the driveway when we’re leaving either set of them. Grandparents are a special experience of love for our little guy.