Want To See A Photo Of My Grandson? Of Course You Do! | HumorOutcasts

Want To See A Photo Of My Grandson? Of Course You Do!

September 9, 2018


At the airport recently, I fell into a conversation with a fellow my age as we waited  for our plane to board. Within two minutes we’d pulled out our smartphones and were showing each other photos of our grandchildren.  

Actually, I’m surprised that it took two minutes.  

Why? It is a truth universally acknowledged that the moment you become a grandparent, it becomes imperative that you show everyone whose path you cross photos of your grandchild. 

“Do you take this flight often?” he’d asked. 

I saw my move and took it. “Yes!” I responded. “I’m flying to California to visit my grandson. Let me show you his photo!” 

His face lit up, he brought out his own phone and he scrolled to a baby photo. And we were off!  

We both knew exactly how this would play out:  

He, a total stranger who I would never see again, would show me a photo of a baby. I would admire her. Then he, in turn, would admire photos of my grandson. After several minutes of oohs and aahs, and immense satisfaction on both sides, we would return to our respective lives.  

Yup, I’ve become one of those.   A Grandparent Who Will Force You to Look at Photos of Their Grandkids.  

There is no escaping me. If we spend any time together, you will view a photo of Benji. I’ve showed his fetching little face to co-workers, strangers on the bus, the dental hygienist before I’d let her clean my teeth and of course, my plumber. 

I feel sorry for grandmas who lived in the pre-smart phone era. They, poor souls, had to carry grandchild photos in their wallets.  

And before that? I’m sure that Grandmas have always managed.  

“Would you care to see this tintype of my grandson?” I imagine one 19th Century grandma saying to another. “His face is blurred because to get a good image you need to sit perfectly still for 20 seconds, and no baby can do that. Still — isn’t his blurry little face just precious?”  

(If any of the artists who created those prehistoric cave paintings were grandparents, I’m sure that among the drawings of rivers and birds and trees you’ll find drawings of adorable grandkids.)  

I have a full and happy life.  I have a great job, and wonderful family and friends. But when I meet you, I won’t insist on showing you a photo of my best friend or my sister or the library where I work. 

But you’re damn well gonna see a photo of Benji.  

Why? I think we’re hardwired this way. Evolutionarily, people are programmed to have kids and raise them to maturity. If we’re lucky, we get to be around long enough to see our kids have kids. 

Which is to say that evolutionarily speaking, we grandparents have hit the jackpot. And with that comes the need to show off.  

Hurrah! I’ve done my part to keep the human race going! Here’s proof!  

I recognize that there are people who don’t want to drop what they’re doing to look at photos of my grandson. Who cares? They’ll see them anyway. (Even if I have to tackle them, then sit on them and hold my phone in their face until they say, “That baby is really cute.”) 

You will not only look at photos of my grandson, you will admire him!  

In turn, I will, of course, gush over photos of your grandchildren. I admired photos of my friend Maria’s granddaughter for three entire years before she had to start admiring photos of Benji. And I was happy to do it!  

But what if your grandchild isn’t adorable? Don’t be ridiculous.  As far as we grandparents are concerned, all babies are adorable.  

My good pal Liz, who never got hitched and doesn’t have grandkids, has no patience for any of this. She even states clearly on her Facebook profile. “Do not show me pictures of your grandkids.”  

Did I haul out my smart phone and show her a photo of Benji the first time I saw her after becoming a grandma?  

Of course I did! Her desires in this matter pale in comparison with my compulsion to share Benji photos with the world.  

My son and daughter-in-law married young. If Benji also marries at age 22, and has kids promptly, one day I might be able to force Liz to look at photos of my great-grandchildren! 

 I’m looking forward to that.  

(Roz Warren wrote this essay for the sole purpose of sharing a photo of her grandson with you. That’s Benji in the photo that illustrates this piece.  You’re welcome.)



Roz Warren

Roz Warren, who writes for everyone from The New York Times to The Funny Times, is the author of Our Bodies, Our Shelves: Library Humor and Just Another Day At Your Local Public Library: An Insider's Tales of Library Life, both of which you should buy immediately.

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13 Responses to Want To See A Photo Of My Grandson? Of Course You Do!

  1. Kelly
    September 13, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    I do this with my brothers!

  2. September 11, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    I think you know I can relate, Roz, since in our recent communication I sent you a photo of one of my grandsons. It is a universal compulsion once those kids of our kids pop out! Your Benji is so adorable!

  3. September 10, 2018 at 1:25 am

    I can’t wait for the day I will share pictures of my grandkids. Until that time, you’ll have to be happy to see pictures of my dog.

  4. Amy
    September 9, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    All smiles 🙂
    I love the cave paintings of grandchildren!

  5. Jim Nolan
    September 9, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    This is hilarious, Roz. I hope it eventually leads to a “Grandma” story collection.

  6. September 9, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    He is adorable! I had to stop showing photos of mine. I have 14 now AND 5 great grandchildren!

  7. September 9, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    Well played ROz. Well played.
    🙂 gwingal

  8. Pat
    September 9, 2018 at 11:37 am

    Well Roz your Benjy is one cute kid so I can get why you love to show him off.

  9. September 9, 2018 at 11:03 am

    This is the true way, Roz. The natural way of all the earth. You have children. They have children. You show off said children. Joy is brought to all. My Mom always carried a little photo album in her purse. Prominently displayed across the front were the letters: S.O.G. with P.I.P. She would begin the conversation by asking if the person had any idea what those letters could mean. (Silly Old Grandmother with Pictures In Purse.) Then the conversation moved along to the showing of said pictures. Happiness ensued.
    BTW, your little man is adorable! 🙂

  10. September 9, 2018 at 7:28 am

    Our mild mannered librarian turns into a ferocious Grandma! LOL I love it. Great post!

  11. September 9, 2018 at 6:41 am

    My kids just got married in May.#LadyInWaiting

  12. September 9, 2018 at 12:34 am

    He’s adorable and he looks like his Grandma Roz. We dont have any grandchildren, so you can show me Benjy photos all day.

  13. September 8, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    That’s the great thing about smart phones: I always have a good variety of grandkid pics!

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