My husband and our youngest daughter, Stephany, were recently dining at O’Charley’s here in Owensboro. I’d dance across broken glass for their rolls. Fortunately our server didn’t hold me to it.
After we had been there about 5 minutes, a family was seated beside us: A grandfather, a grandmother, and their pride and joys – two grandsons. One grandson was about 4 and the other was around 9. The 4 year old was having a great time showering his grandmother with smiles and love. The older boy was kind of surly. You got the impression that he had been pulled away from something electronic to go to supper with his grandparents.
He sat by the wall, beside his grandfather, but apparently decided that he just HAD to get out and sit at the end of the table. So he made a big production out of squeezing between his grandfather’s chair and the wall – sniping at a man who was showing remarkable patience. Then, when the child got to the end of the table, he put on a mini-drama of looking at his obnoxious belt buckle as though it had been scratched up in the process.
By this time, I had a feeling something was about to come out of the grandfather’s mouth. He didn’t disappoint.
The grandfather looked at the little drama brat and said, “Suck it up.”
My daughter and I practically high-fived. The child, not sure what had hit him, sat down and FINALLY wrapped up his performance.
Several things hit me (between rolls):
- What’s with parents these days?! I would say, “What’s with kids these days?” – but kids are kids and are, in a big sense of the word, like clay. As parents, we form them into what they are and will be. If you are a parent and you are reading these words – PLEASE (for your child’s sake as well as everyone else’s) teach them manners. Teach them to respect other people, especially their grandparents. No parent should want to raise a child that’ll look as ugly and bratty as that child did that night. Our daughters would have never, ever treated their grandparents with anything but graciousness, love, and respect.
- The grandfather’s advice is pure gold. Not only was his phrase dead-on for that mini brat, it was dead on for bigger brats as well. Adults can be just as bratty as any child could ever hope to be. There aren’t a lot of differences between a rude little boy showing his backside in a restaurant or a rude big boy showing his backside at work. Or a mother screaming at her kids in the middle of a store (really, ladies, get a grip).
I love grandfathers. They have a certain, no-nonsense way about them. They serve up, usually with just a handful of words, the sort of lessons that the rest of us spend thousands of words on. They don’t flap around, yell, or have overly-dramatic moments. They don’t tear up or say things like, “…after all I’ve done for you…” No, not these guys. After all, they were weaned on John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. There’s not an ounce of drama queen in them.
They simply size up the situation and say what needs to be said.
The next time any of us are tempted to whine about anything (weather, bills, hurt feelings, dust bunnies, gas prices, etc.) we should let the grandfather’s words ring through our head. Oh, yeah. We should most definitely Suck it up.
What’s the best advice your grandfather ever gave you? Or, if you’re a grandfather – what’s the best advice you every gave? Let us know in the comments!