I did a rough count of the number of jobs I’ve had, and I came up with 14. That’s in four different professions.

But, the most rewarding job has been one that requires very little work, and a lot of love.

Being a grandparent.

When you become a parent, your time is consumed with making the next dime to buy diapers and food and very little time is allotted for appreciating your new role as a mom or a dad. Your parents, if you’re fortunate enough to still have them, take on their new job as grandparents.

I was surprised to see how my parents morphed into these two unrecognizable people when they were around my first child. When I was a kid, the slightest slip was met with swift and severe consequences.

Example One:

Me as a kid: “I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.”

My mom or dad: “Go pick a switch.”

Example Two:

My kid: “I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.”

My mom or dad: “Here’s $20 and some more ice cream.”

How in the world could my kid get away with so much?

I have to admit, I was envious at first. Baffled, even.

Then, I became a grandparent.

The bond between grandchildren and grandparents is quite simple really. It’s uncomplicated.

Grandchildren don’t have to focus on everything that is required of them at home when they’re with their grandparents.

No homework, no chores, no hassles.

A grandparent finally gets the chance to focus on the child and not on everything it takes to raise the child. And to be honest, I have to admit that being a grandparent gave me the opportunity to have a do-over.

After my boys became adults, I looked back and realized that I had sweated the petty things. I was oftentimes too hard on them and could have been more forgiving. It was because I wanted each of them to be as good of a person as they could be that I was firm. God had given me a huge responsibility and I took it seriously.

There’s also an urgency to make the best of your do-over. That’s because your years as a grandparent have a pretty short expiration date.

“Grandchildren are the crown of the aged…” - Proverbs 17:6

My wife has a picture of one of our granddaughters in a picture frame that includes Proverbs 17:6. Every time I look at it, I smile and think of how blessed we are to be grandparents.

Being a grandfather is one of the 14 jobs that I’ve had. It pays the worst, but the benefit package is phenomenal. I just have to remember not to sweat the petty things and to always keep plenty of $20’s and ice cream on hand.