Facebook is People Being People

Sometimes people get upset and bent out of shape over posts on Facebook – sometimes for good reasons, and sometimes for reasons not so good.  There are times when you laugh with people on Facebook and times when you want to wring their necks.  If you choose to be a part of social media, you will experience both.  Why?  It is simple.  Facebook is people being people, and if you can’t accept that, you have no business being on Facebook.

At the end of the day, there is one given with social media – people will post just about anything for just about any reason.  That means the odds are excellent you can find something to offend you if you look hard enough, or you are in the right frame of mind to be offended.  There are offenses to meet every taste on Facebook from really rotten truly offensive stuff to petty, silly, downright ridiculous stuff.  At times, people even get their panties in a wad over innocent things that were never intended to offend anyone, but what is sad is when the offended person refuses to let it go regardless how many apologies are forth coming.

Please, let me repeat!  Facebook is people being people, and if you can’t accept that, you have no business being on Facebook.  People post for a variety of reasons, and other than holding a stinky rotten cheese stick to their head, there is little anyone can do about it.  If a person owns a computer, tablet, or smart phone, with a Facebook app, they can post whatever they please.  If it offends, you can laugh it off, you can ignore it, you can lash out, you can hold a grudge, you can act like a blooming idiot and make a fool of yourself, you can offend them back, you can dig up dirty laundry you know about the offender and post it, or you can unfriend the offender, but that is about all you can do.  As of now, offending someone – intentionally or unintentionally – is not punishable by prison time or the death chamber, so move on – let it go, especially if the offending person offers an apology.  Remember, Facebook is people being people, so accept it, or go do something more constructive with your time like read a book.

People being People on Facebook:

  1. People who post to witness and share their religious status;
  2. People who post because they are lonely and seek human contact;
  3. People who post to be funny or humorous (at least they try);
  4. People who post to share something that makes them happy or excited;
  5. People who post to affirm their existence;
  6. People who post to share a political or social view or rant;
  7. People who post because they are on Facebook and don’t want to be perceived as lurking in the background;
  8. People who post to provoke a rise out of people or get their goat;
  9. People who post to Facebook as a family scrap book;
  10. People who post because it is easier to post to Facebook than actually talk to people;
  11. People who post because they like noise of any kind in their lives;
  12. People who post because they don’t have a life;
  13. People who post because deep down they really like people and like being around them;
  14. People who post on Facebook because they have a short attention span and cannot read or write anything beyond a handful of sentences;
  15. People who post because Facebook is the only family they have;
  16. People who post to share their pity party;
  17. People who post to keep up with friends;
  18. People who post because it gives them a sense of being somebody;
  19. People who post to simply inform; and
  20. People who post because they can.

Facebook is people being people!

JL

©Jack Linton, April 27, 2017

Lessons We Learned from Our Kids

Parents teach their children valuable lessons to take with them through life.  Lessons about family and building relationships usually top the list, and countless hours are spent teaching, modelling, and reinforcing those lessons until they become embedded in the child.  Many parents turn to articles and books to guide them through the parenting maze, but even then, raising children is trial and error at best.  Teaching lessons that will carry children to success throughout their lives is not an easy task, but with perseverance, most parents succeed in giving their children the foundation and confidence they need to be successful in life.

However, life lessons are not just for kids.  Kids are quite adept at teaching their parents a few lessons of their own.  The first lesson, which parents are often oblivious to until too late, is kids are always in control.  Parents may think otherwise, but they are only deceiving themselves.  They are under the thumb of their children, and they remain there for a lifetime.  From an early age, kids sell the idea that “kids come first,” and “the world revolves around them.”  Since parents are more eager to please their children than their children are to please them, they buy into the “kids first” mentality hook, line, and sinker.  As a result, they are defenseless against being brainwashed.  They are at the mercy of master manipulators – their children.

My wife and I are no different; we were thoroughly brainwashed, manipulated, and trained by our three children.  They made us unwavering disciples of “our kids come first” and “our world revolves around our kids.”  In our home, there has never been any doubt who “ruled the roost” – the kids!   Our two sons and daughter taught us how to run errands for them at the drop of a hat and cater to their every need.  Their dear old mom slaved over a stove and oven eight hours a day to cook their favorite meals, and what did she get?  Turned up noses and squeals of “Ewww, there’s an onion in my potato salad;” “Gross there’s tomato pieces in the spaghetti sauce;” and “I’m not eating anything green.”  How that poor woman made it through the child bearing years only to be bushwhacked by kids with the palate of a McDonald’s junky, I will never know!  Nevertheless, like most parents, we were and are bound within a system of labor (service to our kids) for a fixed period of time (from birth to forever) in which our lives are exclusively the property of our children.  In fact, we have been named “Indentured Servants” of the year more than once since the births of our children.  However, if you ask my wife, she will tell you we would not have it any other way, especially now that our children are parents.

We are having the time of our lives watching our grandkids wrap our daughter and sons around their sticky little fingers.  Like us, our kids have become “Indentured Servants” to their children – baseball, softball, football, golf, cheerleading, band, show choir, church youth events, sleepovers, cooking their meals with special attention to personal diets and preferences, washing their clothes, money for movies, keys to the car, and waiting to 11:00 a.m. to cut the grass on Saturday morning so as not to interrupt the little darlings’ sleep are just a few of the concessions they along with countless other parents make for their children!  It’s all fun though, and when their children are thirty, our kids will most likely agree as well.  Our kids keep us smiling and young, and my wife and I would not change any of it for any treasure in this world. The good news is we are confident the lessons are not over.  With six grandchildren, we still have a lot to learn, but the grandkids will have to work hard if they expect to top the following list of lessons their parents taught us.

 Lessons We Learned from Our Three Kids

  • It is not wise to jump out of a swing backwards;
  • Dancing can break bones;
  • You really don’t want to know what the odor in your sons’ bedroom is;
  • Towel capes cannot make you fly, but they are good for cleaning up the blood before mom gets home;
  • One daughter is more than a match for two sons;
  • Sharpies will write on anything including floors, walls, and ceilings as well as act as the perfect touch-up paint for everything that does not need painting;
  • A clothes dryer does not make a good hamster’s wheel – RIP Herman;
  • Lost underpants during potty training means ransacking the house to find those underpants;
  • Boiled Easter eggs will spoil if kept under the bed until the following Easter;
  • Parents should be extra suspicious when their children are quite;
  • Do not drink after your kids;
  • “Uh oh” after the toilet flushes means “watch out,” but it is probably too late.

JL

©Jack Linton, April 20, 2017

People I Find Hard to Handle!

Nine people I find hard to handle, yet at times I may be guilty of acting like them:

  • People who blow their nose in public and then open the tissue or handkerchief to take a look! If you need to blow your nose in public, please do so, but do you really need to look at it afterwards?  What do you expect to find – brain residue?
  • People who text and drive! Thank the good Lord, I am not very good at texting, so texting and driving is not a problem for me!  People who text and drive should drive with a revolver with one bullet in the cylinder next to them on the seat.  That way just before they text, they can pick up the gun, spin the cylinder, put the gun to their head, and pull the trigger.  The odds are the same that sooner or later the gun will fire and texting while driving will lead to a deadly accident.  Every time I see a person texting while driving, I always think, “There goes a funeral waiting to happen;”
  • Fat guys who wear a Speedo on the beach! I have never been guilty of this, but if I ever find myself alone in the world with no family or friends, this will be my way of getting even with the world!
  • People who think a “Yield” sign means they have the right-of-way! We’ve all been there. We are driving down the highway when from the corner of our eye we see some bozo merging from a side ramp without bothering to look to see if a car is the lane.  The result, we slam on brakes to let him in to prevent an accident.  Bozo continues along his merry way never aware that his failure to adhere to the yield sign and merge properly almost caused an accident;
  • Overweight women who wear a two piece on the beach! There are certain things that are simply unbecoming on a woman wearing a two piece bathing suit at the beach:  a cigarette in her mouth; dried out leathery skin; a stretched out boat anchor tattoo on her belly; boobs she kicks when she walks; and bikini bottoms that read, “Danger, wide load!”
  • People who smoke! There are few things in this world nastier than cigarette smoke.  Tried it one time, but thank God, it made me sicker than a dog, so I never tried it again.  If a person wants to commit suicide by smoking, that is his/her choice, but they should do it in the privacy of their home away from people who enjoy living;
  • People who cannot express themselves without the use of profanity. Unfortunately, when frustrated or I smash my thumb with a hammer, I have been known to use words I later regretted and made me ashamed of myself.  However, outside those times, I try my best to avoid thinking with my brain stem and using “hardcore profanity.”  Heck, it bothers me to hear just about everyone these days say, “I gotta go pee.”  Whatever happened to “I gotta go to the bathroom,” or “I gotta go to the restroom?”  I really don’t understand why it is so important for folks to broadcast which bodily excretion they need to discharge;
  • People who cannot accept others for who they are! Most people have been guilty of pushing their agendas on others at one time or another.  People feel comfortable when the world around them conforms to them.  However, not everyone is like me or you, and that is okay.  Unfortunately, far too many people in our society don’t feel that way.  If people do not think like them, believe like them, or live like them, some folks cannot rest until those people are converted into a “mini me.”  If conversion is not possible, therein lies the underlying current of tension in our society; and
  • People who are offended by everything! Most people, including me, have been offended at some point in their lives.  However, most sane people do not make it a habit to look for things to offend them, which is too often the case in our world today.  If something offends you, it’s okay to address it, but in the name of Bozo the Clown, don’t park your insecurities on the offense and make your life and the lives of everyone around you miserable – MOVE ON!  Therefore, if I offended you with this blog, MOVE ON!  I can assure you I was not thinking of you personally when I wrote the blog unless you are one of the people mentioned above in which case I am the one offended, so I shall now MOVE ON!

JL

©Jack Linton, April 9, 2017

Ten Teachers Schools Need to Fire Immediately

I am a firm believer there are many more good, even outstanding, teachers than bad teachers.  However, I sadly admit there are teachers who need to be chased out the school house door as far from teaching as possible.  They are not necessarily bad people, but they lack the “want to,” the “get up and go,” and in some cases the “content knowledge” to be a good classroom teacher.  Their lack of capacity to be a good teacher, their lack of passion for their profession, and for some, their lack of compassion for their students shows in their poor preparation for class, wasting student time showing movies and assigning busy work, and their disregard for school policies and procedures.  Such teachers are a black eye to the teaching profession and fodder for those who badmouth the profession.

As much as I hate to speak negatively about teachers, there are a few nauseating rotten apples that give all teachers a bad name.  The good teachers know who they are, but they won’t say anything, and the students know who they are, but no one in the schools will listen to them.  However, being retired, I can say who they are and even call them by name!  With all the negatives floating around about public schools,  it is imperative these deadbeats, these non-professionals, these blights on the good name of teachers be sought out and identified.  It is time someone told these poor excuses for teachers they are paid to be prepared for class, they are paid to teach and not show movies, and they are paid to enforce and follow school policy.  If being prepared is too difficult, if teaching takes too much effort, or if they don’t like the policies of the school district paying them, they need to find employment elsewhere – preferably outside teaching.  It is time the bad apples were called on the carpet to either put their classroom in order or pack their bags!

Ten Teachers Schools Need to Fire

Schools Need to Get Rid of these teachers . The teacher who . . . WHY?
MOVIE DIRECTOR uses class time to show movies from beginning to end under the pretense of teaching, but all they are really doing is wasting valuable instruction time. This person does not understand how to utilize movies as a teaching aid and needs to be trained, this person is lazy and looking for ways to kill time, or this person is incompetent in his/her content area.  The bottom line is either train this person or show him/her the door.
SLOTH regularly comes to class unprepared to teach. This person is lazy, has too many irons in the fire to prepare properly, or has other priorities over teaching.  Not replacing this person is an injustice to students.
 LOST DUCK hates his/her job as a teacher. This person is in the wrong profession and needs help finding something he/she will like better.  Take care to steer this person as far as possible from teaching.
DREAMER doesn’t hate teaching, but would rather be somewhere else teaching. Rather than cultivating green pastures where he/she is, this person is looking elsewhere for greener pastures.  Help this person locate that pasture – quickly!
BABYSITTER regularly gives busy-work assignments to keep students occupied rather than teach. This person doesn’t know how to teach or doesn’t want to teach.  Schools need teachers, not babysitters!  Get rid of this person and hire someone who wants to teach!
PLACE HOLDER teaches for a paycheck until something better comes along; It would be cheaper and the kids would be better off with a substitute teacher than this dud.
WARM FUZZY does not support or enforce the school rules and policies. This person makes things harder for everybody – themselves, colleagues, students, parents, and administrators.  Part of a teacher’s job is to support and enforce school rules and policies.  If a teacher cannot do that, the teacher should be assisted in finding another profession.
SCROOGE does not like kids. A person who does not like kids should not be a teacher.  This person needs a one-way ticket on the first train out!
BORN PERFECTION  

does not see a need to read or study professionally to become a better teacher – knows it all.

 

Teaching is a life time commitment to personal and professional learning.  Over time, those teachers who think they are above such a commitment, refuse to make such a commitment, or do not have the capacity to commit to personal and professional growth become a liability to the school learning environment and should be replaced.
LOUNGE JOCKEY is negative about kids, colleagues, parents, and the administration. This person is a cancer.  Cut this person before he/she sours everybody.  The Lounge Jockey loves to ride gossip, talk about everyone, and meddle negatively in everyone’s business.  Over time, this person’s negativity can ruin a school.

If you recognize a teacher on this list, try to talk to them, but be careful.  Confronting such an individual could be like telling a mama one of her babies comes from bad seed.  No matter how true or how nice you try to say it, you better be ready for fireworks and heavy duty explosives.  Therefore, it might be wiser to discreetly share this list with a bad apple teacher by circling one of the ten names in the chart and placing it in the teacher’s mailbox or leaving it on the teacher’s desk.  Will such action make the teacher change for the better?  Probably not, but it might encourage them to move to a charter school (Just joking – bad teachers don’t belong in any school).  The bottom line is that either colleagues or administrators need to get the attention of these people and help them change or move on.

JL

©Jack Linton, March 30, 2017

Three Ways to Fix America

Dr. Parag Khanna, a leading global strategist, CNN Global Contributor, and author of Technocracy in America: Rise of the Info-State, writes that America needs a change.  He says the American people no longer trust their government and the only way to restore trust is for Americans to learn from countries such as Switzerland.  According to Dr. Khanna, the best form of government for the 21st century is a technocracy, which is a government led by experts and/or panels of experts.  Therefore, he says the United States needs to do three things to fix itself:

  1. The United States needs to move to a seven-member presidency. Instead of having one President, the United States would be governed by a committee of seven presidents;
  2. The United States needs to abolish what Dr. Khanna calls an ineffective Senate and replace it with an Assembly of Governors. Under his plan, each state would have two governors who would jointly govern their state as well as represent their state in Washington; and
  3. The United States needs to build dignity back into civil service jobs by putting quality people – not friends, relatives, and people owed favors – in civil service positions.

Dr. Khanna’s technocracy idea is very similar to Donald Trump’s campaign promises of placing the most qualified people in key government positions.  Unfortunately, with such block headed nominations and confirmations as Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, it is obvious the Trump Administration either has no intention of making good on that campaign promise, or they have yet to get a handle on quality control.  However, to be fair, I seriously doubt Dr. Khanna’s technocracy idea would fair any better.

When it comes to quality control, more people involved in key governing positions and equity in hiring would not necessarily equate to fixing what ails America.  Seven presidents, two governors in each state, and government hiring void of nepotism and political favors might sound good, but would it work in the United States?  It’s doubtful.  Increasing the number of presidents and governors would do little more than guarantee nothing ever got done, and promoting hiring practices void of nepotism and discrimination would send shock waves from Washington, D.C. to Pumpkin Patch, Mississippi.  Simply put, Dr. Khanna’s technocracy idea would not work in the United States!

Technocracy will not work in this country for three basic reasons:

  1. Technocracy Idea #1: Seven presidents govern by committee:

Reason it will not work:  Most everyone knows there is one thing a committee does well – NOTHING!  We can’t get things done with one President, so why would anyone believe seven people with seven separate agendas could possibly make things better?

  1. Technocracy Idea #2: The Governors Assembly:

Reason it will not work:   The reason this will not work is basically the same as #1.  Can you imagine having two Phil Bryants in Jackson, Mississippi? How about a Democrat and Republican governor sharing the governorship?  The Good Lord is struggling to help us with a single Republican governor.  Can you imagine the mess there would be if we had a Democrat and Republican in office at the same time?

  1. Technocracy Idea #3: Do away with nepotism and favors in civil service hiring:

Reason it will not work:   Point #3 makes some sense, but America is a nation of strokers – you stroke mine and I’ll stroke yours, so it is doubtful Dr. Khanna’s third idea would work any better than what we have now.  We are too deep into giving and receiving favors to stop anytime soon!

Whether Dr. Khanna’s ideas would work is something we will probably never know.  Americans are too wrapped up in themselves and personal agendas to risk changing anything before they receive what they feel they are entitled; therefore, the cycle will continue.  However, it is nice to see someone calmly offer solutions rather than screaming for change between obscenities and name calling.

JL

©Jack Linton, March 24, 2017

The Human Achilles Heel – Reading

Zombies can teach us a thing or two about the importance of reading.  However, getting a zombie to sit down for an interview and talk without it biting your head off is tricky at best.  While most people live in a world of rush, rush, rush, zombies have learned to slow the world down.  They understand slow and intentional is the key to everything, especially a prosperous life.  It is the difference between indigestion and a heart attack.  Therefore, they never rush into anything, especially taking over the world.  They are slow, methodical, and intentional to a fault.

For example, look at reading.  Reading is an intentional activity exercised by higher order species.  In other words, if you walk upright without your knuckles dragging the ground and you have a lick of sense about you, in theory, you should be a reader or at least capable of reading.  Of course, there are always exceptions such as the politicians running the government or those poor souls who buy into late night infomercials on television.  Those wacky doodles aside, serious readers such as zombies are intentional about their reading.  In fact, they are often more intentional about reading than they are about cannibalism.  When they get involved in a good book or find a fascinating resource, they sometimes go days without eating anything other than a slice of ear or a quick eyeball – you know, snack food.

Most zombies I have interviewed say it is easier to find someone to eat than it is to find a good book to read and the time to read it.  Finding time to read is difficult, but zombies have made time for reading a priority even when it means not going on the prowl as much as they like.  To their credit, they, unlike humans, live by a code that emphasizes daily reading.  They know a thing or two about brain dead, so unlike many humans, they are relentless in their pursuit of stimulating brain activity.

Even zombie leaders look for ways to scratch out a few minutes to read, and they are intentional when it comes to modeling reading for their followers.  That is why it is not uncommon to find huge herds of zombies reading as they migrate across the nation.  Finding a zombie reading on doorsteps outside a home staked out for lunch or dinner is even more common.  Such devotion to reading can be attributed to great leadership.   Great leaders insist on knowledgeable and healthy followers, and there is not a better way to increase mental and physical health than to read.

There has been a great deal of research into zombies, and one of the most interesting findings has been the revelation that it is their devotion to reading that makes them so formidable.  Their success at moving massive herds across deserts and through noon time traffic jams in New York, Atlanta, and Eastabuchie is not luck.  By reading regularly, they keep up with such important information as the latest migratory data and traffic avoidance strategies.  Although they might turn stomachs on first look and appear frightening, in truth, they are far less terrifying than humans who don’t read.  The research clearly indicates, as a species, they are simply better readers than humans and therefore tend to be more rational thinkers.

Some will argue that is not true.  However, all anyone needs to do is look at human Facebook pages, Twitter messages, and text messages to see humans have an aversion to reading anything beyond a hundred words with a strong preference for forty words and under.  It is hard to say if they are genetically tied to a minimalistic reading quota, they are genetically lazy, or simply brain dead.  A quota or lazy gene may be legitimate issues, but brain dead is not an excuse – especially for humans.  Zombies are brain dead, but that does not prevent them from out reading humans ten to one.  When you take into consideration there are unrealistic restrictions that prevent zombies from having an Amazon.com account or a library card, a ten to one ratio is beyond remarkable.

On the other side, the human side, it is a safe bet in today’s America that anything written beyond one-hundred words will effectively turn off ninety-five percent of the American population.  If a foreign government wished to successfully invade and conquer the United States all they need to do is offer free cable, internet, cell phones, and electronic tablets to the public on any day of the week and especially on Super Bowl Sunday.  In the United States, the less than five percent reading or abstaining from electronic stimulation on any given day would be hard pressed to repel a foreign invasion.  The same can be said of a zombie invasion.  The only difference is the zombies are already here.  They have grown from a aggravating parasite to an immediate threat to the human way of life, and they have done so by intentionally reigniting brain electrodes while humans in America have effectively electronically sterilized their brains!

Because they are prolific readers, the zombie general population is as much as eight steps ahead of the human general population.  To put this in proper perspective, it is like comparing the brain activity of an amoeba to the brain activity of Albert Einstein where the amoeba represents the non-reading human population and Einstein represents a zombie nation of readers.  Before they became readers, zombies rambled aimlessly across the nation getting their heads split by machetes or screwdrivers driven through an eye socket into the brain.  Other than the occasional rat killing, there was little for zombies to look forward to in life.  However, once they turned to reading, their lives changed for the better, especially after they formed book study groups to study such classics as Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.  Through reading, the Zombie Nation has reinvented itself, and as a result, these blood gurglers of the dead are fast becoming unstoppable.

While American leaders indulge in self-importance, self-righteousness, party agendas, conspiracies, and the dumbing down of their followers, zombie leaders are growing themselves and building a base of highly literate followers.  They are constantly reading, researching, trying new ideas, embracing them when they fit, and discarding them when they don’t.  They are slowly taking control of America, and they are doing it without firing a single shot.  They are intellectually preparing themselves for the day when American humans can no longer read much less comprehend their gun manuals.  The human Achilles heel (reading) has become the sword by which zombies will inherit the nation.  While humans have become complacent and comfortable in who they are and in what they do, zombies led by the example of wise well-read leaders, are reading every cookbook in America in preparation for the day they take over.  Complacency rarely happens with zombies.  Their intensity is unrelenting!  They never relax; they are totally focused on their next book and meal.

JL

©Jack Linton, March 21, 2017

Growing Up!  The Worst Thing about Grandkids

When it comes to dealing with our grandkids, my wife and I are at opposite ends of the spectrum.  She is all about supporting rules and parameters set by their parents while I tend to give them whatever they want and let the parents deal with the fallout when they get home.  The one thing we agree on is you have never experienced perfection until you become a grandparent.  For a grandmother, there will never be a more handsome or better mannered young man than her grandson, and for a grandfather, a granddaughter is the perfect confirmation of heaven and angels.  Unfortunately, grandkids are not all perfection.  They have issues, such as growing up, that can make grandparenting extremely difficult.

It is not fair, but like puppies, grandchildren grow up.  Growing up does not diminish a grandparent’s love for a grandchild, but it does wreak havoc on the number and quality of hugs and kisses a grandparent receives.  As grandkids grow older, they start needing more personal space, which grandparents do not always understand.  They sometimes take it personal, but a sixteen-year-old is simply repulsed by old slobbery lips.  That a teenager would rather be with his/her friends than eating cookies with grandma and listening to grandpa talk about milking cows is a no brainer.  The older they get the more independent and less slobber absorbing they become.  Grandma and grandpa are no longer super heroes with a bottomless cookie jar or inspiring stories of flying with Peter Pan and joining the Foreign Legion as a boy.  As they grow, a child’s universe expands, which means grandparents are often relegated to playing second fiddle to sports, dance, movies with friends, slumber parties, church, and school events.  Even on the increasingly rare occasions the grandkids visit, grandparents find themselves sharing time with Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and text messages that are as continuous as the waves at the beach.  It is a sad fact, but the older the grandkids get the less grandparents see them.  There should be a law that says grandchildren between the ages of birth and eighty must call or visit their grandparents at least once a week.

Another problem with growing up is it becomes harder and harder for grandparents to spoil their grandkids.  Let’s be real, the only purpose in life for grandparents is to pander to the whims and fancies of their grandkids.  Take that away from them, and all that is left are old folks living for the sake of senior discounts, bingo, keno machines, and eating the buffet at Shoneys.  The only thing that keeps grandparents kicking and off the respirator is pampering their grandkids.  Functional grandparenting is just that simple.  However, spoiling grandkids as they grow older is anything but simple.  When they were little, a piece of candy, a cookie, a quarter maybe a dollar, or a bottle of green slime found on sale at Walmart were all that was needed to keep their attention.  However, as they grow into teenhood, attention decreases in direct correlation to the tightness of their jeans!  The tighter they wear their jeans the harder it is for them to focus and the more expensive the toy or bribe it takes for them to show grandma and grandpa the time of day.  I don’t know why; maybe, tight jeans restrict oxygen to the brain. 

One of the most traumatic issues grandparents deal with as the grandkids grow older is the fear they’ll take art lessons.  Imagine grandma’s refrigerator void of hearts cut from construction paper with squiggly “I love Mawmaw” and “Pappaw is the best” scrawled across them.  Think of her refrigerator without pictures of stick people holding hands in front of a red house with a purple sky.  Grandma’s refrigerator without grandkid art would be like a colorless rainbow; it would not make sense.  However, that is what happens when the grandkids grow older and take art lessons.  Their art becomes refined and more intricate, which is wonderful, but it comes at a cost; it loses its innocence.  It is like replacing the Lascaux cave drawings in France with the latest decorator wall paper.  There is joy in the new, but there will always be that nagging sense of loss.  For grandparents, that equates to their fear of being painted out of the picture.

A child’s first Christmas toy is a grandparent; they’re lovable, huggable, and easy to manipulate.  That is the way it should be, and the way grandparents want it to be, always.  Grandkids are grandparents’ second chance to get it right, and grandparents will face off against the world to make sure nothing messes up that chance – not even growing up.  Honestly though, grandparents take great joy in watching their grandkids grow up, but at the same time it reminds them that, like their children, growing up means moving on, and that is not easy for old codgers who have moved as far as they care to go.  Therefore, my wife and I have but one thing to say to our grandchildren – come see us as often as you can and bring a hug.  Don’t worry about squeezing too hard; grandparents don’t break easily unless left alone.   

JL

©Jack Linton, March 7, 2017