Meet the Grandparents

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They were a welcome sight, like the home team taking the field. And they came bearing gifts, but I didn’t care. I was just glad my in-laws, the Canadian grandparents, were paying a visit; it was like picking up two first-round draft picks.

I was happy to see them, but even more thrilled my wife and I finally were going to be able to get a little rest and a lot of help. It’s a scientific law as true as E=MC2, or at least it should be: The amount of sleep you get is inversely proportional to the amount of kids you have. Last November, child No. 2 graced the Snyder household, and while I love my son, Brayden, with all my heart, I don’t love the fact he’s a night owl. Somehow, my daughter, Sage, is able to sleep through his nighttime symphonies (in the key of E … as in “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!”). My wife and I are not so lucky. Many, many times we count our sleep in minutes, rather than hours.

But, the grandparents recently came to the rescue. Yep, there’s Grandma begging to hold Brayden for hours so she can bond with him. And there’s Grandpa making funny faces to the kids so he can snap picture after picture. I hadn’t had this much fun since the Panthers won a game.

Since becoming a father, I’ve gone through a series of adjustments, even more intense than Bobcats fans. But one of the biggest changes was something I had never considered: finding time to go to the bathroom. It never dawned on me how hard it would be to find a minute to use the facilities. Thanks to the grandparents, though, for a few days bathroom use wasn’t a sweet dream, but rather a relaxed reality.

Grandparents are good in the advice department, too. They let you know things that worked for them when they were parents (which they probably learned them from their parents). Of course, sometimes some of their methods seem a little outdated, but I’m learning quickly that something useful back in the day more likely than not works today.

Of course my in-laws insist on paying for things, like food, gas, clothes, toys … pretty much anything and everything. In fact, if I can just get them to stay another six months, I should be able to retire, or at least afford tickets to every NASCAR race.

Seriously, the best part of having, as Sage calls them, Bubba (Grandma) and Dia (Grandpa) around is watching the two groups bond, and watching the looks that go between the four sets of eyes. It truly is special to see past and future generations share a hug, a meal and a laugh.

And it lets this generation enjoy something almost as satisfying as a bathroom break: a date night. It’s something we hadn’t had in a long time. Now if I can just get Dia to reimburse me for the bill, the entire visit will have been a complete success.

Bruce Snyder is the sports director at Fox Charlotte. He lives in Charlotte with his wife, Charisse, daughter, Sage, and son, Brayden.