Parenting Lessons from My Irish Father-in-Law

He gave my boys their first bite of chocolate and their first pint and taught me how to be a grandmother along the way.

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Throw your mind back, remember when you walked through the door to cries of Mommy, Daddy? Well, my kids are certified grown and flowns, and when my father in law arrives, to this day, they still rush to the door. What does this tell me? Are my kids just slaves to anyone who will give them the junk food I have tried to keep out of their lives? Well, no, of course not. They don’t live at home, so who knows what they are eating. Someday I am hoping to be a grandmother, and if my grandchildren run to the door when they are small to see me, I will be overjoyed. If they rush to the door as teenagers, I am fairly certain that my life will be complete.  

This is what my FIL has done for me. He has shown me how to be a grandparent. When I get there, I know I will be ready. Because while I was learning to be a mother, quietly without a word, he was teaching me to be a grandmother. On some blessed day in the future, with a beautiful baby in my arms, I will remember that a bit of chocolate never hurt a child, that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, more important than being there for your grandchild, that dirty faces, leaky diapers and permanent platinum blond hair do not matter in the face of true grandparental love. But I draw the line at one Happy Meal a day. 

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