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Grandparenting The Way Dad Did

Posted Jun 26 2011 9:51am
June 26, 2011 | Author Melissa Shell

Dad and my son (3 years old)

Today, Sunday, is dad’s birthday. I am going to try to not be as weepy as I was last Sunday – Father’s Day. With that in mind, I decided to share a memory, and what I did Saturday morning that brought that memory up.

I was living with my parents when my son was born, and I started college a couple of weeks after that. Most of the time, mom was home to watch him when I had to leave. However, she did work at a vet clinic, so there were times when dad got home before she did. Things always seemed to go well when dad was watching my son, so I never once suspected that dad might have been “nervous” about anything.

When my son was no longer an infant, dad told me he always got a little nervous when he was alone with the baby and he was sleeping in his crib. As a result, dad would frequently check on him. However, if the light was dim in the bedroom, he had a difficult time determining if my son was breathing. So what he would do is jiggle the crib until my son moved. Once he did that, dad would be satisfied – until the next time he had to check on the sleeping baby.

My granddaughter is spending the weekend with me and mom, and like any grandparent I check on her frequently when she is sleeping. Yesterday, during one of my “visits” to her room, she was so still that I could not be sure if she was breathing. Guess what I did? Yes, I jiggled the crib until she moved. As soon as I left her room, I realized I had just done what dad used to do to his sleeping grandson. It must be a grandparent thing.

It did make me smile when I thought about the hard time I gave dad for doing something so silly, and realized that I had done the same thing.


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