Grandpa’s Pocket Knife

Do we follow in our grandparents footsteps as we become grandparents? The question about becoming our parents as we raise children is a favorite topic for bloggers and other pop psychologists, but I don’t know if anyone has looked at the issue with respect to grandparenting.

With my grandson at the horse barn near my home in Tucson.

Recently, as I was looking at a photograph of me with my grandson, I started to think back to the days I spent with my grandfather in Bruneau, Idaho. In the photo I’m wearing an old straw hat and we were at the horse barn near my home in Tucson. My grandparents had animals and Grandpa always wore a beat up old straw hat, a lot like mine. The way I’m walking, holding my grandson’s hand in the picture reminded me a lot of how Grandpa would walk along side us kids as we roamed his farm.

Through their age, memories, and way of living Grandma and Grandpa linked me to a world I could never know other than as I would experience it through books, TV, and movies— a genuine link to the Old West. Will my grandchildren see me and my wife as a link to the famous 60s and the world before computers and social media? Will they one day adopt little habits from us that link them to a past so distant they don’t even know the origins?

I carry a pocket knife now. Grandpa always had his knife handy for slicing cucumbers fresh from the garden or cutting boxes open. He gave me my first one. I plan to give one to my grandkids some day – showing them how to play “splits,” “mumblypeg,” and other exciting children’s knife games.

My grandfather with my mom sometime in the early 1980’s.
About the author
Tim and his wife enjoy living in Tucson even though their two grandchildren are far up north in Wisconsin. Luckily they can count on at least one visit each year when the kids need to escape winter and visit them along with their dog Chester, horse Sierra, and two donkeys Mama and Squeaky.