Today, a little kid asked me, “Are you a grandpa?”
I laughed. “Gosh,” I said. “As of yesterday, no, but I have two boys, 19 and 15, so sooner or later I’ll likely be one.”
And that got me thinking because that’s what I do. I think, then overthink, then worry I’m overthinking then sit down and think about how much thinking I’m doing.
But I didn’t hate the thought of being a grandpa.
I mean, hell, there are a lot of negatives about getting old. I have hip pain., I can’t remember who sat beside me in grade 12 math, and all sorts of things are sagging in ways that are terrifying.
All of that, and more, was supposed to be offset by wisdom, yet even if I have some, no one wants to hear it. No wonder all the old guys sit on the porch and complain about the weather, the kids these days, and how much it hurts to get out of a chair, no one wants to hear their wisdom.
Now don’t get me wrong. Every so often I get asked for my wisdom or advice. The other day The-Youngest came to me and told me about a story he was writing. Then, God bless him, he asked what I thought.
Brilliant idea, I said. Who’s your protagonist? What gets in his way? What’s at stake? Where’s it set? Why does your protagonist have to act now? What’s your theme? What’s your character’s first setback? Did you tie your end into the beginning? What’s your subplot? Is it romance? I love a good romance subplot? Are their unicorns?
I would have gone on, but I ran out of breath. Old age, you know.
“Hold on there, Stephen King,” he said. “My story is 5 pages long. Double spaced.”
Right. Maybe there’s a reason no one asks me anything, it’s like leaping into a hive of intellectual bees with big, opinionated stingers.
Last time he tried to get some Joe-wisdom, he made the mistake of asking me to help him understand how WW2 started. After running around the house, screaming, “OMG, OMG, my dream has come true,” like a little girl who got BTS tickets online, I sat down and gave him my best explanation.
See, the Germans were pretty upset with reparations and territories they lost after WW1, but to really understand why the Allies made them pay so dearly, it’s not just about the devastation and carnage on the battlefield, you have to look at the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, when the Germans imposed even harsher peace terms on the French, all because the French Emperor, Napoleon III wanted to be like the original Napoleon and kick the snot out of the Prussians, who eventually morphed into the Germans, but who, interestingly enough, kept the original Prussian military tradition of Frederick the Great, that one could argue comes from the ancient and somewhat brutal tribes of Germania that fought the Romans. So maybe we start there?
He left at some point before I finished. He mumbled he was getting some milk, but he never came back, and when I saw him, he’d run to the bathroom, “Sorry, Joe, emergency!”
Anyway where was I?
Wait, is this another reason no one wants to hear my wisdom? I go off on a tangent.
Gosh, I’m having some eye-opening moments here.
But back to being a grandpa. I would love to be a grandpa. I’ll get to play with toys, again, and everyone will smile and go, “isn’t that adorable?” as opposed to now when people look at me and judgingly shake their heads.
I know I’ll spoil my grandchild like a Chinese emperor.
And, for at least a few years, they won’t be able to run while I talk about how the Americans won their war of independence.
In other words, I know I’ll be a great grandpa. Wait, that didn’t come out right – not a ‘great-grandpa’, an amazing grandpa.
Now, where is The-Oldest? I need to find him a wife.