Dear Annie: I love being a grandpa, but it seems all my fellow adults have a totally different impression of what a grandfather is supposed to be. My wife says I should be a role model and authority figure, which to me translates to being stern and official. Our daughter says essentially the same thing as her mother.
Our grandchildren are 7 and 8 years old, and when I am with them, I can't help but act like someone their age.
When I make jokes that involve potty humor, the kids love them. It never gets old when I say something like "pull my finger" and the kids just break up laughing. This makes me feel so good — and close to them.
But my wife says I am acting so immaturely that it is ridiculous. My daughter and son-in-law say that my jokes have gotten the kids in trouble with their teachers.
I am in my 70s but feel much younger. Any advice for this old kid? — Gramps With a Kid's Mind
Dear Gramps: Staying youthful is great, but keep it clean. You seek attention and love from your grandchildren, and your youthful enthusiasm with them is very special — as long as your humor and fun show your maturity and age. You know better.
Dear Annie: I am writing to thank you for the poem you printed on Thanksgiving Day.
I am a widow, and I am not looking forward to another holiday season alone, feeling a little sad and more than a little angst. I do have children and grandchildren, but like so many families, my family has been torn apart by drugs and the ravages of their aftermath. However, this is not what my letter is about.
I look forward to your column each day and love the down-to-earth common sense and caring displayed in your answers to folks' problems.
I was a bit down on Thanksgiving until I read that poem, "We Thank Thee." Tears flowed as I read those beautiful words, and as my spirits lifted and my heart filled with gratitude, I thanked you, Annie, for reminding me that love is all around me. I had just lost sight of it for a moment. I will keep this poem and read it often. You are appreciated more than you know. Keep up the good work. — Grateful
Dear Grateful: That Thanksgiving poem may have brought tears to your eyes, but your letter brought tears to mine! Thank you.
Dear Annie: "Get Out of My House" can take her own advice. She is deeply frustrated that she has to pay for groceries, cook and do all the cleanup while her husband's freeloading relatives stay at her house not to visit her and her husband but to spend time in their old hometown.
Next time they indicate they are coming again, she should tell them they can stay as long as they'd like but she'll be solo elsewhere. Once her mate carries such a load, he'll end these drop-bys on his own. — On-the-Ground Relative
Dear On-the-Ground Relative: No better way to learn than through experience, so that would be quite the lesson for her husband indeed. Thanks for writing.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]