We love our grandparents. They introduce us to new ideas, offer perspectives that differ from our parents, and spoil us. And not just with unconditional love and letting us get away with things. Generally, grandparents should spend between $50 and $100 on birthday presents, depending on a variety of factors like how old the child is, finances, and how many grandkids there are in the family. Grandchildren certainly don’t come cheap. But you can make the money go further by spending it more wisely than on useless toys.
So say you’re spending $100 on a grandkid’s birthday buying – let’s face it – stupid toys that are prized for a few weeks and are then forgotten. How about putting that money to better use? Still give them a gift – something small – and spend the remainder at the bank, by putting it into an account for them. If you put $75 into a bank account twice a year, your grandchild will have close to $3000 by the time they’re 18 and if you put $25 into it once a month, that’s $5400 by the time they graduate high school. When they’re checking out student loans, having their first semester of state college taken care of will be a lot more useful than video games and meaningless plastic they haven’t touched in a decade.
I’d be a liar if I said that my childhood dream was to be a writer. While, some kids have a strong sense of direction, my career paths were always fleeting, varying month to month, with the exception of a year-long period when I wanted to be the Little Mermaid.
As I got older, I realized that it wasn’t the things I wanted to be when I was younger that had stuck with me. Instead, it was the things I was exposed to through my childhood education that I found the most compelling. At home, my parents had constantly read to me, forcing me to fall in love with worlds and people outside the comfort of my suburban life. In elementary school, we had a special talk about art once a week, exposing me to new ideas and outlets for creative expression. And as the looming date of entering college drew near, I realized that I had a choice: be a writer or an artist?
Initially, I made the wrong decision, suffered through three painful years of art college, and eventually understood that I was not cut out for visual arts. Since I was still writing diligently in a journal, decided to execute Plan B and pursue a literary degree.
Confession: I cannot hold chopsticks properly. Somehow, I weave my middle finger between the two sticks, bestowing little control, and allowing me to navigate my food anywhere but into my mouth. Due to this deficiency, I no longer allow myself to go out to sushi bars, Chinese restaurants, hibachi places, or any such establishment where my ineptitude is displayed.
But this is a conundrum, as I dearly love sushi. So, on a quest to remedy my problem, I began to wonder who in the world created these sticks, and where the rest of flatware came from. Initially, I thought that chopsticks were probably the oldest utensils since they seem the most simplistic, but I was way off…by thousands of years.
Hands down, spoons take the cake as the oldest eating utensil, next to fingers, of course. Spoons can be dated back to the Paleolithic period, before the woolly rhinoceroses went extinct. In other words, they’ve been around for a while. It’s thought that the spoon most likely originated in southern Europe. The Greek and Latin words for “spoon” come from the word cochlea, meaning a spiral shaped snail shell, so you can then guess what the first spoons were made of. In ancient Egypt, spoons were made mainly of ivory, flint, slate, and different woods, while Greeks and Romans fashioned theirs out of bronze and silver. In Medieval times, spoons were made of cow horns, wood, brass and pewter. Of course, there were fancy ones too, made of silver and gold, but they were reserved for nobles and royalty.
Before you came along, your dad was sort of a regular guy. He may have had long hair and been a regular at the local dive where he spent every night living his “dream” of becoming a pool shark. Before you, your dad may have listened to his music too loudly, spent his days off at the beach with mom, and gone out every Friday night. Before you, his ambitions may have been outlandish – reaching into space with astronauts or plunging deep into the ocean with scuba divers. But things changed. Life was no longer about staying up late and getting out of work early. It became all about you.
Your father has dedicated all of these years to you, making sure you’re provided for, safe, and happy. This amazing love deserves some recognition, which is why we have Father’s Day, but this year, take the time to recognize exactly why your dad is amazing – because he is. Our fathers have done things for us over the years that when we’re younger, we don’t understand, but in retrospect, we comprehend the immeasurable love they have for us and what an amazing gift that is.
He’s Your Biggest Fan
Remember when you went through “that phase?” Well, your dad still loved you and thought you were adorable, didn’t he? Yeah, that’s because our dads will always think we’re great (it’s sort of an unwritten law). Our dads brag about us, congratulate us on our achievements, and are proud of our accomplishments. If it was a fad to wear buttons expressing sentiments towards their children, you’d probably think that ½ the world’s youths were running for president.