I’m not sure how it happened.

One moment I was dealing with three young ones, then 5 teenagers, and now 6 grandchildren.

The 3 young ones are my three kids, born between 1983 and 1986.

After a divorce and another marriage, I was either Dad or Step-dad to 5 teens.

A few years later, all of them were out of the house, most of them married and 4 out of 5 have children of their own.

We spent part of Fathers Day weekend in Chicago, attending a family wedding and we got to see and take care of our youngest grandchild, Ryker who arrived in the world just 4 months ago.  Last weekend, we saw Calvin & Emma and their parents and next weekend, I’ll see all of my 3 original Howard offspring with their families.

When you are in the middle of parenthood, you take life a day at a time. Yes, you plan for the future which can be as short as the next day, or for years down the road, but you’re mostly right in the thick of things, doing your best to be the parent your kids need you to be.

Once you become a grandparent, I’ve noticed a change in perspective.  I’ve become incredibly impressed with my kids as they take on the role of Mom and Dad.  And I also get my parents perspective now, as I see what they went through as grandparents.

To the parents of the world.. hang in there.  We understand, we’ve been in your shoes. And we’re here to offer support.

And one day, you too will become grandparents and experience the pride and joy of watching your growing family.