Grandparent’s Day

Day 9 - Grandparents Day Watercolor Boy and Grandfather - Doodlewash

Today is Grandparent’s Day, which is a lovely day for celebrating all of the grandmothers and grandfathers in your life. I have no living grandparents, but spent the day with my sister and my mom who are both grandparents and we had a wonderful time! I’ve mentioned my grandmother many times on my blog as we were quite close, but I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention my grandfather. He passed away many years before she did, was rather quiet, and we didn’t have a lot of long conversations. But I loved exploring all of the wonders that he had in his tool shed, even though I’m rubbish when it comes to working with tools of any kind, save a pen and paintbrush. When I was very young, he almost seemed like a superhero with his incredible ability to fix literally anything broken that was in sight. Many times, I wish I’d spent more quality time with him, rather than just admiring him from afar. Tried to get to know him better. But then I think, we had the perfect relationship. The kind uncluttered by too many words that shines with love even in those simplest of moments spent together.

One of the things I remember most about my grandfather was that he was often a bit impatient with me. He tried to show and teach me things, but I simply wasn’t wired to be the type of man that he was. And thinking back to those times when he was noticeably flustered by my inability to work with tools or lift heavy objects, I still have very fond memories. Though I was certainly not a rugged farm boy, he never made me feel like a disappointment or like I didn’t belong there. After all of the grumbling, he would just pat me on the back like I’d done something wonderful after all. I would then wander off to play with the goats and enjoy the things that came more naturally to me while feeling amazing. My hero had once again made me feel like everything was just fine and that through all of my failures I had somehow miraculously managed to succeed. It wasn’t breeding some horrid form of false self-confidence, as the grumbles made it clear what I was horrible at doing. Instead, I was just given assurance that it didn’t really matter after all. We can’t be good at everything we attempt, but we should always be rewarded for trying.

These little lessons have served me well as I’ve grown up and transformed from a little boy into a middle-aged man who’s still most definitely a boy at heart. I’m not sure if my grandfather ever knew just how much he actually managed to teach me. I certainly wasn’t a stellar student at the specific lessons he taught, but I hope he knew that he managed to teach me very important things after all. Grandparents are often said to spoil kids and give them more leeway than parents might, and I think this is usually true and exactly what needs to happen in life. A person who loves me like a parent, but doesn’t have to put up with all of my craziness all of the time, is a perfectly wonderful person to have in my life. They were the first ones to see past those little idiosyncrasies that had already driven my parents to the brink of insanity. The first to let me know that being me was not such a bad thing after all. My parents would lovingly except all of that crazy in the end, but their parents always managed to get there first. I have a profound love for my grandparents and hope that wherever they are, they’re all still looking down on me with a sense of pride. And I’m sending them all of my love and thanks as we celebrate this wonderful Grandparent’s Day.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Day 9 - Grandparents Day Watercolor Boy and Grandfather - Doodlewash
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!

22 Comments
  1. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 1 week ago

    Charlie, one of your best posts ever. Such a lovely tribute to your grandfather and a warm and wonderful painting of Little Charlie and Grandpa.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Aww thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕So happy you enjoyed this one!

  2. Mary Roff 1 week ago

    Very lucky to have had loving, caring grandparents too. Amazing the things we learn from them.

  3. Sandra Strait 1 week ago

    Love your grandfather and grandson – both the painting and the story of yourself and your grandfather. My grandfather was Scottish, always very curt and not one for hugs and kisses. As a child, I always felt he didn’t like me. Later in life, I learned more about the Scottish culture he came from – a poor, fishing village (Lossiemouth) in Scotland. Coming from a more loving environment with my parents, I know now that I totally missed the encouragements and loving gestures he gave. I wish I’d known then what I know now.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 Oh to know then what we know now. So many things and little nuances that we just missed when we were young. But your grandfather sounds perfectly wonderful in all the curtness. I’m sure he was a very memorable person!

  4. Sharon Nolfi 1 week ago

    Heartwarming post and painting! As a new first-time grandmother (5 weeks, a granddaughter), I very much appreciate your sentiments.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Aww thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 And yay! Congrats to being a grandmother! What a lucky little girl!

  5. smzang 1 week ago

    a cherished essay!

  6. Leena Uniyal 1 week ago

    Love it!

  7. Lisa 1 week ago

    I think growing up close to my grandparents is one of the high spots of my life. That unconditional love has stuck with me to this day even though they are all long gone now. When I turned 16 and got my drivers license I often visited grandma Mabel by myself because we had fun, and we had a lot to laugh about together. And one on one meant I didn’t have to share her!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Aww… I adore that story, Lisa! 😃💕 That’s so wonderful! I agree… I loved spending time with my grandparents on their farm because all of the other cousins weren’t around stealing their attention. hehe

  8. Anita Sinha 1 week ago

    Oh..Such a endearing story about your grandpa…Reminded me of my paternal grandfather who was a master storyteller and told me such wonderful stories from Jataka tales, Ramayana, Aesop fables, Gimms fairy tales…Each story with soundeffects etc..and a nice moral in the end…

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Thanks, Anita! 😃💕 Awww your grandfather sounds wonderful! I love that he told you stories with sound effects… so much more fun that way. I still love and tell those same types of stories.

  9. June Hadaway 1 week ago

    Such a nice tribute to your grandparents; the painting and your story. I am sure you were the bright light in your grandfather’s eyes. He was a wise man.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Aww thanks, June! 😃💕 I hope I was to him! He was such a cool guy… just really awesome. I adored him.

  10. SnehLata Maheshwari 1 week ago

    Oh such a cute granpa. N kid. Beautiful 🥀🌼🙏🌸🌷 story. N awesome art.iloved the line that remarkable heroes.yes true.n in their shelter kids feel save that no one can scold them . I believed that there disipdiscin keep a child a good ctizin
    Thanks for sharing.lie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      Thanks so much, Snehlata! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this one! Grandparents are wonderful second parents indeed!

  11. Jodi 1 week ago

    grandparents! such a gift to have…. such a gift to be! <3

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 week ago

      hehe! Yes! And I know from the pics you’re a gift your little one! 💕

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