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Life As a Grandfather

A Message from Lon McQ, KJLH Radio On Air Personality

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I’ve been a radio air personality for over 40 years. It has been one of the most fulfilling experiences in my life. But, NOTHING compares to the most rewarding experience of all. The opportunity to be a parent and mold the life of another human being.  And with even greater joy, I am doing the same as a grandparent.

When I think about being a grandparent my mind takes me back through the years to the birth of my first son and how incredible the miracle of birth is. As a young father my feelings ranged in everything from excitement and love to fear of the responsibility and how much this was going to cost me, LOL. Being a dad carries a lot of emotions, but as time goes by, you learn and grow with it.

One of the things I learned through my experience is your little kids don’t care if you’ve made mistakes. Most of the time they don’t even notice it. What they notice is your love and your heart and the time that you spend with them. And I now understand that what you do with that time can make the difference in how they develop into happy, intelligent and well-rounded people.

Fast forward to the present and now my first born has his first born. How’s that for the circle of life? Now that first born who calls me Dad has a first born that calls me Pop.  

When I spend time with my grandchildren, I read to them, I listen to them, talk to them about how to barbecue and how to sit on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. And through it all, they know if they need me, I’m there. When I showed my 4 year old grandson what the lights and gauges on my motorcycle do, he may not have completely understood but based on his questions and excitement, I could see how this simple interaction fed his curiosity and even nurtured his creativity.

Even as babies, your children recognize your voice and form a bond with you. And it can make all the difference in the world. When my grandkids call me Pop or ask “Hey Pop you coming over?”, or most of all “I love you Pop,” it just goes straight through me.

If you're a grandparent, talk to your grandkids, bring them into your world. If they ask the same question a million times, answer them a million and one. It's so important to hug your grandkids, read to them and most of all listen to them.

In this time of a global pandemic, political unrest, and racial and social injustice, if you’re thinking they don’t have a clue as to what’s going on think again. They can sense trouble. They can pick up on your emotions and your expressions. They know when things are not right and it's up to us as grandparents and primary parents to reassure them it's going to be alright. One word of encouragement from grandma and grandpa secures their world. 

With the pandemic, as seniors we have to be careful of our interactions with the grandkids, so get creative. I do drive by motorcycle rides to their house and they wave at me through the window. I also FaceTime them or text them every day to tell them I love them. As long as that contact is there, you're good to go. 

In closing remember the lasting importance of love, hugs, and a kind word of encouragement. Always let them know you're there for them because for the rest of your life, as a grandparent they will be there for you too. So when it comes time to pull out those pictures of your grandchildren, wear them like a badge of honor. Grandkids are a gift and so are grandparents. 

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Lon McQ
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Lon McQ
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