I have a Batman sticker about the size of a quarter on my shirt. Placed there by my three-year-old grandson, Evan, I’m very reluctant to take it off because of how serious he was when he put it on.  Giving up a Batman sticker to Papa Rick came with both great sacrifice and love.

Here are the reasons why spending time with my grandchildren lowers my blood pressure;

      1. I get to watch cartoons without looking like a weirdo – I’d have a hard time sitting down to watch Aladdin, Tarzan, or the Jungle Book by myself.  I could, but, if my wife caught me, well, let’s just say she’d schedule a doctor’s appointment for me. But the grandkids give me an excuse to watch my favorite cartoons.
      2. Life gets put in proper perspective– There is something magical about a little person looking up at you with admiration.  When KK, the four-year-old granddaughter tells me she loves me because I’m cozy, somehow all that I’ve worked for becomes worthy of the struggle. I like being cozy.  Cozy might raise an eyebrow on a resume, but it’s now a descriptive word of me that I cherish.
      3. They have problems I can solve – I don’t know about your life, but I seem to have a fair amount of challenges that don’t have immediate solutions. However, I can easily solve the earth-shattering trauma of the dog eating their PB&J sandwich when they weren’t looking. I feel like quite the hero coming to the rescue with a new PB&J.  I wonder what it would do for morale if we traded hugs in the work place every time we solved a problem. Oh, yeah, that’s right, we can’t do that now because we’re grown ups and we might get sued for sexual harassment.
      4. I’m reminded of the power of amazement- It doesn’t take much to razzle-dazzle a three-year-old.  I built a simple little wooden toy in my shop with my grandson, Isaiah. Judging by his reaction, you would have thought I bought him a Ferrari.
      5. They mean I’ve done something worthwhile– I’ve collected a fair amount of mistakes in my life, but grandchildren are proof I’ve done at least a few things right.  One of my daughter-in-laws, Alana, recently asked grandparents to write down answers to a series of questions about who we are and where we came from. As I write the responses, I surprisingly find new meaning in the experiences of my past.

I’m waiting on them to come back for another round of grandchildren therapy. I have a couple of projects in the shop; a few Disney movies in queue; plenty of PB&J; and, of course, my new Batman sticker.

I’m cozy. And I like it.