Today is Grandparents' Day.
It's one of life's rewards for surviving your own children.
Grandparenthood rarely comes at a perfect time of your life. Either you're too young for it or too old.
Some grandparents see grandchildren as a chance to correct the mistakes they made the first time around.
Others view it as a twilight zone where you can love them when they're dry and fed ... send them back when they're wet and hungry.
Others relish being a spectator as they watch their prophecy materialize,
"Just wait till you have children of your own!"
Perhaps the saddest words in all the world are,
"I never knew my grandparents."
It's good to remember that in a time when marriages dissolve and the grandparents are dismissed without notice or feeling.
Grandparents contribute a special relationship to a child that no one else can give them.
At least ten years ago I wrote a job description for grandparents that bears repeating.
What is a grandparent?
They can always be counted upon to buy anything you're selling ...
from all-purpose greeting cards to peanut brittle ...
from flower seeds to cookies ...
from transparent tape to ten chances on a pony.
A grandparent buys you gifts your mother says you don't need.
A grandparent pretends he doesn't know who you are on Halloween.
A grandparent will put a sweater on you when she is cold, feed you when she is hungry and put you to bed when she is tired.
A grandparent will frame a picture of your hand that you traced over the brocade sofa in the Mediterranean living room.
A grandparent will check to see if you are crying when you are sound asleep.
A grandparent is the only babysitter who doesn't charge money to keep you.
A grandparent will believe you can read when you have the book upside down.
When a grandchild says, "Grandma, how come you didn't have any children?" a grandparent will fight back the tears.