Posted by Danny
It hit me this past week. I am going to have to raise my grandchildren.
We were at the beach which means an annual argument about purchasing Hermit crabs.
I’m not sure if other families have this issue; I sense it’s only us. I believe it is a genetic condition. My oldest niece started it about 15 years ago. I have her to thank.
When we go to the coast, we eat seafood in Calabash, NC. It’s where my grandfather took us. At times we’re staying two hours away from Dockside Seafood Restaurant – doesn’t matter, my father insists that’s where we go.
“It’s good food and it’s a great price.”
All true. Although if you’re driving three vehicles 240 miles each, I question if there is true savings.
On the corner near the restaurant is an enormous nic nac shop. On the porch is a cage, maybe four feet square in width and four feet tall. It is packed with Hermit crabs. Their shells have all been painted by a local “artist”. There are flowers, Picasso type designs, even Spiderman Hermit Crab – so very, very tempting.
Although we have two at home who survived the past 12 months, according to my kids it is imperative that we have more.
“We are NOT getting more crabs,” I insist. “What joy do they bring? You don’t like them in your room because they are loud at night – so they take up prime real estate on the bathroom counter. You don’t play with them – in fact, all they do is sleep. When their cage starts smelling like crustacean poo, who cleans it out? That would be me. No — No. No. No.”
“You never take care of your animals. Why don’t you play with the ones you have?”
Although DJ didn’t pushing for one this year, she pointed out that her crab immediately changed shells when she got him home last year. “He left the flower designed shell I picked out and moved to the ugliest shell we had – I didn’t like him after that.”
He was probably a dude and embarrassed to be stuck in a tulip. I wouldn’t want to live in a house with a garden painted across the front door.
I then began to toss out all of the animal failures the Tanner’s had endured: “What about your hamster Stephanie. You never played with her.”
“Miss Piggy bit! Would you play with something that draws blood on a regular basis?”
“What about the guinea pig? No one played with him.”
“If you recall, I didn’t want a guinea pig. I wanted a hamster. Mom made me get JW. Therefore, we never connected.”
That’s when it hit me. I suddenly had the realization that I was going to have to raise my grandchildren. If my kids found fault in their child, they would simply turn its well-being over to me.
Panic grabbed my chest. I felt the car closing in.
“AAAAhhhh! What if you treat your children like you do your pets? I am not going to raise your kids. I can’t do it.”
I could see it clear as day:
“DJ, where’s my grandson?”
“Oh, well you know dad, we really wanted a girl. I guess he’s still up in his room; haven’t checked in a few days.”
“Stephanie, what’s that smell?”
“I’m not changing diapers, that’s gross.”
“Michelle, is that your baby screaming?”
“That’s her – but she bites. We don’t pick her up anymore.”
I don’t know if I can do it. I mean I’ll be 15, maybe 20 years older than I am now. I may not have the energy. I’m supposed to be through with diapers.
Oh Lord – give me strength.