Support The Bulwark and subscribe today.
  Join Now

The Joy of Being a Grandparent

March 1, 2023
The Joy of Being a Grandparent
(Photo courtesy of Bill Galston)

[During a recurring segment of The Bulwark’s “Beg to Differ” podcast, the guests describe a “highlight or lowlight” of the week gone by. Usually, panelists will flag an article they’ve read or a developing news story they’re keeping an eye on. Sometimes, though, the highlight or lowlight is of a more personal nature. On the February 24, 2023 episode, regular guest Bill Galston shared how much he enjoyed looking after his grandchildren—even at the cost of (temporarily) losing his voice.]

I suspect the listeners have picked up the fact that I don’t have much of a voice this week.

And that’s actually connected to my highlight of the week.

My wife and I are in Chicago for the better part of a week, taking care of our four grandchildren while the biological units who produced them are enjoying a well-deserved rest in Cancun.

Now, if you know anything about children, you know that statistically if you have more than one, the odds are that at least one of them will be ill at any given time.

My highlight of the week has been snuggling with my 2-year-old granddaughter who wakes up singing. Whether it’s from a nap or in the morning, she wakes up singing.

I’m 77 years old and I didn’t think that second love was possible. But I’m here to tell you that it is.

And if the price of the snuggling is the disappearance of my voice, it’s worth it.

To all the future grandparents of the country, I say: You don’t know what you’re in for.

William A. Galston

William A. Galston, a regular guest on The Bulwark’s “Beg to Differ” podcast, holds the Ezra K. Zilkha Chair in the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies Program, where he serves as a senior fellow. He writes a weekly column for the Wall Street Journal and is the author of nine books, the most recent of which is Anti-Pluralism: The Populist Threat to Liberal Democracy (Yale, 2018). Twitter: @billgalston.