This post is used by permission of its author, T. Scott Gross, author of “Positively Outrageous Service”
(This month’s e-ziine is a little…soft. But hang in to the end and you’ll be glad you did!)
She’s a girly girl. Pink is her favorite color. She experiments with hairstyles and thinks she has an eye for fashion. She sings in the shower and sometimes skips through the living room. She studies gymnastics as well as ju jitsu.
Did I mention she is only ten?
While I’m at it, let me remind you she is also Pops’ girl.
We’re talking about my granddaughter. I call her “The Princess” and it’s my job to teach her things that too often parents forget. So far we’ve learned how to change the AC filters, a chore that included a lesson on using ladders safely, instruction on writing the date of the change on the edge of the filter, and how to check the direction of the air flow so you get the right side out.
We’ve learned how to put a spit shine on a pair of Pops’ dress shoes. (She like the spit part! We know about fixing a leaky flapper valve on a toilet, when to use gloves and safety glasses, how to dump brush at the city landfill, and why the sky is blue and what makes the setting sun look so big.
She can set a fire in the fireplace, use the wire grinder to prepare the grill for spring painting, and can tell you how to light and frame a photograph.
Granny Buns has added fun lessons on baking sugar cookies, frosting chocolate cinnamon cake, and how to wrap a gift. The Princess has her own apron hanging in Granny Buns’ kitchen. She can tell you where to find the sugar, the vanilla extract, and she’s learning who likes what to drink with dinner and what each family member will want to go with their dessert.
Because my office is in the front of the house I usually spy The Princess and her older brother “Big Guy” before they reach the door. For some odd reason I always alert Buns by yelling, “Incoming!” When the door opens the kid with the ponytail is usually the first in.
“Is that the prettiest girl in the whole wide world?’ That’s always the question and the answer is taken for obvious. Big Guy and The Princess never know when a visit will result in a lesson in addition to a piece of the latest baked masterpiece from Granny Buns’ kitchen.
At ten when you ask the “what do you want to be when you grow up” question the answer changes with each asking. But Pops and Granny Buns know the answer and we are proud to say they are already well on their way to a lifetime career of honesty, solid work ethic, and unlimited curiosity as well as the ability to find the answers they seek.
We want our grandkids to be powerful individuals who are free to do whatever they chose and not be cowed by the opinions of others or the dimwitted spirit that comes with incompetence.
I won’t leave this earth until it has a princess who knows that she need not bend to the controlling wishes of others.
This spring there will be a new tool box lined up on top of the workbench. It will be a pink one.
Big, tall, hairy-legged boys show up at our house to raid the dessert stock and hang out with our grandson, Forrest. Skinny ten year old girls with long shiny hair and too-big front teeth come in on puffs of fresh air and mom’s perfume to dig through the refrigerator with The Princess.
Every one of them zooms in for a hug before leaving. Every one says in puberty-laced bass voices or girly girl falsetto, Thanks Pops! Thanks Granny Buns before disappearing for who knows how long.
Not all, maybe darned few of your employees have someone in their life to teach them how to tune a guitar, sing in harmony, flip an egg, or even that you take your shoes off outside if they are muddy. So when they screw up… and they will screw up… take time to discover if their behavior was negligent or simply the result of not having a Pops and Granny Buns. If that’s the case… step up to the plate, we have work to do!