MLN-FrontPorch-14Poets often wax nostalgic about Grannies sitting on the front porch bragging about their grandkids. However, anytime my maternal grandmother bragged or said something nice, it was a safe bet that she wasn’t talking about her grandkids. She only spoke highly of herself, her priest and her son.  To hear her tell it, her son had no faults.  Yet, she found nothing but fault with her husband, her daughter, her neighbors and her grandkids.

One Easter Sunday both of my grandmothers were sitting and talking on our front porch.  I was quietly playing in the side yard and didn’t bother to make my presence known.

My paternal grandmother remarked on how much she enjoyed living next door to us and inquired if my maternal grandmother missed living close enough to have us visit her often.  My maternal grandmother replied, “No, I find the grandkids visits tedious. All they do is drink water and pee.  My daughter and I can’t say more than two sentences without one of them interrupting us. First, they want a glass of water.  Then, they want to pee.”

My paternal grandmother attempted to lighten the mood, “Living out here in the country like they do, these kids don’t often see indoor plumbing.  It’s a novelty to them. So, naturally, they want to try it out.  Have you tried offering water and a trip to the bathroom when they arrive?”

“Heavens no!  They must learn to respect grown-ups and not clamor for attention.”

“Maybe they are bored with sitting in the house.  Perhaps, you should let them play in the yard.”

“If I let them in my front yard they would trample the flower beds.”

“Oh, those kids are very careful around flowers.  They even help me tend my flower beds.”

“I don’t tend flower beds.  I have a gardener for that.”

Yes, through my eavesdropping I learned that not all grandmothers adore their grandkids.  But, more importantly I learned that having the unconditional love of one grandmother was more than enough for me.

Now, whenever I see two old ladies on a porch, I imagine one saying “Those children don’t do anything but drink water and pee – drink water and pee – drink water and pee.”

This makes me sad.  It seems to me that Grandkids should be considered a blessings no matter what they do or don’t do.

Betty Freeman Haines, an author, lives in Mesquite, NV.  Her books/e-books, Reluctant Heroand Grieving Sucks or Does It, can be ordered from  Share your thoughts and opinions with her at