Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

lolo love

Posted on August 11, 2007 by jimparedes

Sunday, August 12, 2007

These days, I am marinating in a special type of love. I am experiencing a facet of love that is both unique and wonderful. More than a facet, it can be better described as a flavor. I am speaking about my love, adoration, delight and fascination for Ananda, my one and only grandchild whom I call many names — Ananda, Dada, Dadadee, anak, palangga, darling and many other terms of endearment that I find myself spontaneously and unabashedly using. I call her by many names, not because I am becoming forgetful the way grandfathers are supposed to, but because she elicits so many shades of wonderful feelings from me.

I have lived over half a century and I can say that I have known enough about love and its many flavors. I have showered love and have received it — from my own parents and caregivers, friends, girlfriends, my wife, three children, relatives, peers, colleagues, people I have met and interacted with, fans, and the general love of humanity and life. To be sure, I continue to learn and enjoy love, and be grateful for it.

But let me tell you that right now, none gives me such joy as seeing Ananda’s gaze, hearing the pitter-patter of her tiny feet and her gleeful laughter, and feeling the embrace and affection of my little apo who can oh-so-easily charm her way into my heart and claim it.

Lolo love, to my amazement, can be so easily awakened, enticed and seduced to surrender and pamper its love object.

When Dada calls, I find myself dropping everything. When I hear her going down the stairs, I run to assist her or remind her to be careful. When she asks me to read her something, I readily do so. When she wants me to sit beside her and pretend to drink tea she has prepared from her tiny tea set, I do so with relish. This kid has me wrapped around her little finger!

Grandparents tend to love their own children differently from their grandchildren. When we love our kids, we commit to the pains and pleasures, the duties and obligations, the time and patience needed in raising them to be good, upright people who will do good in the world and do the world some good. It is therefore not surprising that such a task as parenthood can throw us in a tailspin of conflicting emotions at different stages of our children’s growing years. We feel pride and guilt, empathy and anger, joy and suffering, love and fear as we try to do our best in raising them to adulthood.

With grandchildren, it is different. Not only can we do everything parents do, we can do even more — and less! We get to enjoy our grandchildren, love them, play with them, teach them, and even spoil them and feel no guilt or worry about it. Why should we? They are not our responsibility — at least not in the same way that we were responsible when we raised our own kids. We can have as much fun with our grandchildren as we want to and when they begin to get cranky, needy and difficult the way children tend to be when they are spent, we have the luxury of simply sending them back to their parents! I can’t think of anything neater! No wonder a pundit once said that grandparents exact revenge on their children through their grandchildren!

I used to have occasional problems with my mother-in-law when my kids were growing up. The kids loved their Lola because she loved to pamper them. I used to worry that she was “spoiling my kids rotten,” at least in my view as a young, eager and inexperienced father. I worried because she would buy them toys for no reason. She also had a cabinet filled with forbidden goodies, which must have seemed like Aladdin’s cave to her grandchildren. She would make sure to store it regularly for her grandchildren to discover and indulge themselves. She would allow them to have as much candy and chocolate as they wished, even if Lydia and I banned them from eating all the cavity-causing stuff at home. When I think of how rigid Lydia and I were in the early years of our marriage, arguing with Mom about bringing up the kids, I can only shake my head and smile since I now very often catch Lydia doing the exact same things her mother used to do, like giving Dada chocolates, candies, junk food, and other goodies

Neale Donald Walsch in Conversations with God, Book 2 posits the idea that grandparents should be raising children in place of their parents. Why? Because they are more experienced and are a whole lot calmer, and yes, wiser. If not for the added responsibility on my part, I would agree with Walsch. I remember how easily and expertly my Mom would give my infant kids their baths right in the kitchen sink. She would handle them with such confidence and with nary a fuss from my little babies.

These days, as a grandpa, I find myself knowing what to do in many situations. I know intuitively how to calm Dada down when she is agitated without having to turn to the pages of our old baby and child-care bible by Dr. Benjamin Spock. And Lola Lydia can do it infinitely better than I can.

People my age who aren’t yet grandparents ask me what it is like being one. I explain it in a rather long-winded way, like this:

When a man marries, he feels he is settling into a territory that is new, radical and bold. Its landscape is varied and contoured and suitable for building a house with both heavenly and hellish rooms for its occupants. Marriage is the task of converting this house into a home where more angels reside than demons.

When he has children, a man knows that his decision to occupy this same house has now become more permanent. And it’s not just the house but even the garden seems to bear his mark more and more. He has begun to notice that some seeds he has planted have not only sprouted but continue to grow. And with the tender growth, he is filled with dreams and hopes that they will grow mightily and bear fruit.

With the arrival of a grandchild, the picture becomes more lush. The landscape begins to take the shape of something infinitely larger in potential. It is not just a garden with a few trees but a real budding, promising orchard with second growth trees. He feels the unraveling of an enterprise that has much greater rewards. All of a sudden, a man and his life are not just one small story of a moment in time. He may wither and die but his story is sure to continue as part of a grander one that could last forever.

As I write, little Dada plays with her tea set and Lego blocks oblivious to the musings of her Lolo Jim about her. In her little world, all is fine. And in my big world, all is wonderful because of her.

* * *

24 to “lolo love”

  1. Tuny says:

    Napadaan lang po. I’m still in the Daddy Love stage, and loving it so much! Happy to read there’s more good things to come (hopefully not soon though 😉 ).

  2. Jim says:

    Tuny–believe me, there’s so much more to come!! But enjoy daddy love. It’s fantastic as well.

  3. vicky says:

    how mesmerising- i don’t have a grandchild yet- now I understand why my mom and dad spoilt my first child (their first apo) rotten. You are truly blessed with your cute little apo- she will cherish those moments with lolo forever in her life….still savouring your first book…

  4. vanidosa says:

    nice entry mr. jim! I know the feeling, really great! I saw you at SOP last Sunday, we were seated right in front to your right with my blogger cousin. We’re friends of Direk Louie. I wanted to say “hey co-blogger! pero nahiya ako bigla. You’re kind of music is so walang kupas!

  5. Anonymous says:

    ananda and your future apos are lucky to have you and lydia. my lolo and lola on both sides of my family arent exactly loving grandparents, or people for that matter, so i never felt what it’s like to be spoiled rotten by old folks.

    but my parents are great grandparents to my children, just like you. 🙂

  6. Anonymous says:

    Dear Jim,

    Really wonderful imagery, I understand a little of those feelings without actually having reached that stage yet. I felt the rich lush depth of promise, experience andlove that is effused from each of your experiences.

    I am pleased that your universe echoes many reflections of not simply my own, but a universe I can appreciate and learn from as well.

    I am honoured that you share your thoughts and feelings in the unique way that you do.

    Warm regards

    Craig – Timeline

  7. Jim says:

    vicky, anonymous–thanks

    vanidosa– you should have just come up and presented yourself. Sayang. I missed the opportunity to meet you.

    craig–daghang salamat. So honored you enjoy my writings.

  8. Sam says:

    Love this entry. Although I’m not yet a grandfather (father to a 9month old baby), I can also experience those things you’ve mentioned. I once suck my son’s mucus because he’s afraid seeing a suction..unforgettable things you can do to your own kids..

    Flip Brown Guy

  9. Jim says:

    sam–yes. We WILL do anything for our kids without hesitation. I always used to tell my wife that if I had to have my arm cut for any of them, I would.

  10. dimaks says:

    This entry made me see other wonderful things to come ahead of my daddy stage.

  11. Jim says:

    dimaks–it’s hard to describe how great a stage it is. Lolohood is king!!

  12. Via says:

    Dear Jim,

    This made me cry. I have wanted so badly to make my parents grandchildren.

  13. Lucid Dreamer says:

    you make it sound so easy that somehow all apprehensions i feel for my future is suddenly replaced by excitement. yes, i’m only in my 20s but it seems like growing old with my future family would be one heck of a ride.

  14. tess says:

    Hi Jim,

    Now there’s the two of us! Going gaga over our granddaughters!

    Seriously, you have captured all the wonderful things I want to say about my very own. Just like you, I will take a bullet for her.

    You have a very good writing style, Jim. What a gift and talent you have!


  15. niki says:

    ananda is so cute! =)

    that was a beautiful post sir jim!

    my mom sometimes joke about having grandkids (my sister and i are in the supposedly “marrying age”). she even told me that it’s okay if i don’t marry, “basta may apo”. haha. but because i’m not really ready yet (i’m not even sure if family life is for me) i always tell her that it won’t be anytime soon…and she gets that weird look on her face that makes me feel guilty and now your post makes me want to give her a granddaughter already haha!

  16. anj says:

    i really did not get to spend that much time with my grandparents so hardly felt the pampering grandchildren get.

    but i kinda feel the same being a tita to five lovely pamangkins. i can have as much as fun as i want with them and look cooler than their parents. when i can’t handle them anymore… “ate, eto na anak mo.”

    hehe! but i don’t mind going through being a parent first. (sana no? kasi mahirap magka-apo ng di nagka-anak. hehe!)

    thanks for your wonderful entries. 🙂

  17. Jim says:

    via–good tears I hope.

    lucid dreamer–it sure will. brace yourself.

    tess–salamat! I know lola love is even greater than the lolo variety!

    niki–ha ha. make sure things happen in the ‘proper order’.

    anj–salamat sa bisita.

  18. Via says:

    Hi again Jim! Yes, good tears with hope and longing. 🙂 With the overflowing of emotions, nasulat ko tuloy “make my parents grandchildren”. You know what I meant of course. 🙂 Take care! And we look hopefully to the day that Noel and I will be blessed with children as well.

  19. Christine says:

    Hi Jim! I love this post. My parents are not ‘writers’ so they can’t eloquently express how they feel about their eldest apo (my daughter) but what you have described is what exactly how my parents feel from my observation.

    I’ve never seen my Dad get so heartbroken until the day I took their favourite grandchild away to live in New Zealand.

    5 years has passed but the bond that my parents has created with my daughter is still strong. My daughter loves my parents to death! Sometimes I think more than she loves me. They’re the ‘spoilers’ and I’m the kill-joy who has to discipline her! Oh well!

  20. ces says:

    Growing up without a dad, my Lolo easily became the main man in my life. It’s been 11 years since he passed away but to this day, no one comes close to him -and I doubt anyone ever will.

    Thank you for reminding me of his love.. I slid more tears than I’d like to admit. Hahaha.

  21. Jing says:

    I could fully comprehend your amazement with your grandchild Sir Jim. I am a mother of 2 turning 3 and I could see how my mother-in-law gets really crazy over my kids, just like what you have shared here. But good enough you were able to explain and enlighten me as well with the point of view of a grandparent. I find myself sometimes in confusion and disappointment over the inconsistencies of the rules I want my daughter to follow. But I guess I just have to take it one step at a time and be firm with what I want my kids to learn. Great post here, Sir Jim!

  22. shaui says:

    can i borrow your last quote?
    “In her little world, all is fine. And in my big world, all is wonderful because of her.” it s really nice.
    i’ll put it in my scrapbook. thanks so much!

  23. Eden says:

    shes so adorable !pretty indeed!

  24. It is my son’s bday shortly and I feel that the write-up has made my thoughts up regarding just what exactly I’ll buy him.

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