We’re celebrating Father’s Day this evening with a picnic and maybe a present for Spouse if he is lucky. Tomorrow, we’ll celebrate our own dads, Toddler’s grandpas.
I was very lucky to have some pretty awesome grandpas. My mom’s dad had stashes of chocolate hidden in drawers and cabinets all over the house, and reinforcements in the fridge and freezer, so when I’d visit I’d get a soup bowl full of truffles and cream-filleds, and sometimes on the way out I was also handed a sandwich bag with a few extras for the car ride home. My dad’s dad reminded me of Jim Rockford. He drank white rum and liked to dance, and when I graduated high school and won a scholarship from the Korean Veteran’s Association, a group he had long been an enthusiastic and important member of, he poured me strong rum-and-Cokes and couldn’t stop smiling. My grandparents set a pretty high standard, and it looks like Toddler stands to benefit from that legacy; he has some pretty great grandfathers himself.
One of toddler’s first words was “grandpa,” which he would pronounce “brumpa.” He would start talking about Brumpa as soon as we got to the Port Mann Bridge, his insistence increasing as we neared the turn-off into Surrey. When we’d pull into my parents’ driveway, he would practically spin in his car seat, desperate to be set free. It’s not all that easy to earn the love and admiration of a toddler, but Brumpa continues to hold high status in Toddlerland.
Brumpa doesn’t say “no.” He has a stash of treats and boundless interest in what Toddler has to say, even when Toddler isn’t particularly articulate. He is always accommodating when Toddler needs “Up! Up! Up!” and will help translate big kid games for uncoordinated little guys. He is inclusive, available, and never puts kale in anything a kid might eat. He buys peanut butter Cheerios and barbecue-flavoured chips. Brumpa is everything Toddler wishes for in his parents (who do attempt to feed him kale).
So while I know it’s important to recognize dads, Father’s Day should be about appreciating grandpas too. Good grandpas, and great grandpas, and great-grandpas too if your kids have them. I am sure Brumpa has a big hug and sloppy tongue-in-the-ear kiss coming his way, that lucky guy.
Happy Father’s Day!