FIRST PUBLISHED MARCH 8, 2015
Happy Birthday to the silliest grandpa on earth! At least that's what our granddaughters would call him. They love their grandfather's goofy nature. He acts silly with them, and joins in their play without hesitation. The girls are his treasures and he absolutely relishes his time with them.
We both have a comical side, but Tom's is definitely a more active one. Mine is, shall we say, quieter. I am fond of putting funny captions on animal photos. A couple of years ago, Jain was reading The Blue Day Book For Kids where the author, Bradley Trevor Greive does that, too. She got tickled at a picture of a cat "breaking out some wild dance moves," then imitated it herself. Soon she was walking through the house in that pose, being totally silly, and chanting, "I'm the pwetty pwincess, I'm the pwetty pwincess," and making us all laugh. Soon Sofia joined her in a pose of her own and chanted, "I'm the cwazy queen, I'm the cwazy queen," then my goofy husband started marching around as the "kooky king." The girls wanted me to join in, but I preferred to be the audience member to this nutty performance. Eventually I acquiesced and became the "daffy duchess." This is my point. While I would prefer not to act out my silly side in such a demonstrative manner, Tom jumps right in when the girls are being goofy. He loves it and they love it. And they can never get enough! Even his hugs are never serious. He vibrates the girls in his embrace, which makes them giggle.
One thing Tom has always done, ALWAYS! — and yes, I'm using a superlative here because it's 100% true — is change the words to songs, and it drives me crazy. It is his not so humble opinion that his lyrics are better than those of the original song. Whatever. This obsession, I might add, has ruined several great songs for me, because now I can't hear them without thinking of his lyrics! He totally destroyed the endearingly lovely children's song "Winnie the Pooh" to the point that once when I sang it, our daughter blurted, "Those aren't the real words, Mommy!" Arrrrrggh! "YES, THEY ARE! Your father's lyrics are the wrong ones!" Naturally, from that point on, the wrong words were the only ones I ever heard. I'm not even going to reveal what those lyrics are. You'll cry.
Jain and Sofia love making up lyrics, too, and will eagerly sing along to all his "new and improved" songs, mostly to get MY goat, of course. In my defense, I'm not completely immune to this activity. I once made up lyrics to "Up On the Housetop," but I was delirious with pneumonia and a 104 degree temperature. (You do NOT want to know the revised words to that holiday classic, either.) Katie, 6 years old at the time, was quite concerned. "Daddy, I think there's something wrong with Mommy. She's making up words to a Christmas song!" If that had been Tom, his behavior would have seemed completely normal and he might not have received the immediate medical attention I got. Guess it was a good thing I was the one with pneumonia, huh?
I've determined with my brood I should never worry how our granddaughters will perceive our brand of silliness. As Sofia would say, "If you're weird, you're normal, and if you're normal, you're weird!" From the mouths of babes. Three years ago when Tom required C-PAP therapy for sleeping, we wondered how Jain would react when she saw the mask on him. I thought for sure she would be terrified at the sight of it with the long, elephantine hose coming out of his face. The first night of her visit she asked whether she could sleep on the floor next to me. We prepared her cushions and blankets and she lay down. I climbed into bed and we talked a bit while Grampy put on his mask. Then he leaned over to say "Goodnight, Jain," and she saw him for the first time with the mask. I braced, waiting for her scream, but she cracked up! And then we all started laughing hysterically. You have to understand that Jain has the best, most infectious laugh ever! Once she gets going, you laugh because she's laughing. Well, that broke the ice that year and I've never worried about her being afraid of how we look, or act. To the girls we're just a riot!
This goofy nature must be genetic. Our youngest granddaughter, Olivia, found Jain and Sofia quite the amusing duo. When they met her, Livi was a mere 6 months old. It was love at first sight for all three cousins! Jain and Sofia loved to make her laugh and we got the best recording of them pratfalling to the floor. Little Olivia laughed so hard at their antics she actually got red-faced and sweaty. It was just the best thing ever to hear her laugh! We can hardly wait to see what amuses the three of them when we're together this summer!
Laughter is good for the soul. It massages the liver and greatly improves your immune system. If, for no other reason than to be silly with your grandchildren, do it for everyone's health! So, go forth, good grandparents. Be silly, be nutty, be goofy, be ridiculous!
And above all, as the birthday boy says,