I have always felt that I had a good rapport with kids. Even as a practicing dentist, over 40 years, I could always establish a relationship with the younger set.
This feeling disappeared when I tried to establish a working and playing relationship with my first grandchild. Trying my entire bag-of-tricks did nothing to improve my position with my granddaughter.
Humor did not work!
Being serious was equally futile!
Playing games wound up in a dead end!
Conversations would start and abort quickly!
Holding hands resulted in the quick sliding out of her hand from my hand and a quick run to the safety of her parent's upper leg!
What was I doing wrong?
Honestly, I felt a powerful rejection which led to the experiencing of a mild depression in her company. Would grandfathering always be this difficult and non-satisfying?
To all my friends, grandfathering was great fun and games with little or no complications.
Visit after visit, time after time the situation showed no sign of improvement. In my own mind I envisioned a lifetime of a negative relationship.
I stopped trying as hard as I did initially and just accepted the bond that did not exist.
Actually it hurt me very much but one must accept reality. When she and her family moved to the West Coast I all but gave up on ever having close ties with my first-born granddaughter.
Last month my wife Lorraine and I traveled to San Diego to see our children. From the moment she saw us, until the day we left, she was adorable, attentive and just plain fun to be around.
She sought to take my hand whenever she could. We would even go hand-in-hand to places away from her parents. We played card games and word games. We laughed and played together easily.
As she approached her sixth birthday, to me Pop-Pop, she was a new child.
Was it maturity?
Was it new found confidence in her school and social settings?
Was it me?
I am not even going to conjecture. It is all too wonderful. The goodbye kiss at the airport was the clincher.