It seems strange to me that I feel the joy of my friends who are grandparents (such a noble name!) and at the same time have no desire to join the league of Grandparents. I learned that I don’t dislike children, just dirty, noisy, badly behaving children. We have many children in our building (I well may be the oldest resident in the whole building), both good and bad, cute & cuter, clean & sloppy/dirty, and I find them all interesting but not at all desirable. I cannot imagine harboring very different feelings if they were my own grandchildren.
I have learned that I seem to like Japanese children most, perhaps because they seem better behaved than most SE Asian kids or perhaps because I don’t know them as well as I do other SE Asian kids. I learned that the worst, most badly behaved child is a first born male, followed by any first male child in a family. The son of a son holds the supreme rank, as He carries on the family name. This child can do no wrong & it is amazing that he ever grows up to be a productive member of society, if he does. There was a tv show on National Geographic about people who have what they called “The Warrior Gene”, and I imagine that these undisciplined First Sons who carried this warrior gene have gone on to become the major criminals of society. I would like to unearth mafia capos, national dictators like Hitler and Idi Amin, and one-time pillars of society like Bernie Madoff and the name-forgotten Chairman of Enron, and check them for this warrior gene. It might not PROVE my theory, but it certainly would be a step-up to confirmation.
Doting grandparents make me slightly upset and I’m happy that my closest friends take joy and pleasure in their grandchildren without smothering everyone with the kids accomplishments, but at the same time sharing these enjoyable achievements and actions of their ‘grand’kids with me. I don’t find it offensive, but do find it interesting and I like to hear these good things from my friends. Maybe it is because they ARE my friends, and I have known them since they were only a little older than some of these achieving grandchildren. I feel part of the family when this happens, and maybe that is the difference. For those of you who share these joys with me, Thank You Very Much! Please don’t stop.
One of my children once made the remark that I moved to SE Asia because I was angry that there were no grandchildren. Since that child (now a forty year old person) is probably reading this, I publicly state that this is absolutely false. If my children choose not to have children, I don’t care. It is their business, not mine. Conversely, if they decide that they do want children, fine. I will love them all as my own, and would hope that I am able to communicate better with these ‘grand’children than I have been able to with one of my own.
So, now we come to the issue of children who no longer communicate with the parent. It is easy to blame oneself for this, but I think that blame is shared equally if not predominantly on the side of the non-communicator. If your child refuses to keep in touch, when do you stop trying. According to my wife, never. I don’t agree. I think there is a point when you say, “Enough. The kid is over 40 and acting like a petulant teenager, and I’ve tried everything I know to build bridges. I give up. It is just making me upset and is not worth the aggravation. I need to protect my own mental peace and comfort and just forget this child. I almost can. Perhaps after I am dead, this child will realize that there is a cost to everything, and might even regret not maintaining communication.
Frankly, I am at the point where I really don’t care.