She’s been bitten by the grandparent bug

Published 1:18 pm Monday, October 15, 2012

By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist

I have an illness many older people get that turns their world upside down. I have been bitten by the bug – the grandparent bug. I have never understood the illness that overcomes a person making them carry hundreds of photos in their wallets, betray their own children to become so obnoxiously proud of something that weighs less than 20 pounds. I do now.

On Sept. 23, James Lucas Chapman turned 1 year old and my world as I once knew it stopped. Quite honestly, I was surprised everyone else’s didn’t either. After all, it should’ve been a national holiday.

Shelby County Reporter columnist and Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman reads a book with her grandson, James Lucas Chapman. (Contributed)

We have all met those grandparents who ask if you want to see photos of their grandchildren then two hours later you break away for fear of having to watch the videos too.

While I am not quite that obnoxious — yet — I do love being a grandmother. It’s like a second chance at being a mother and knowing everything you did wrong the first time around.

And yes, there is the added benefit of sending them home when they’re fussy. It’s also nice to have another family to blame the fussiness on because we know it didn’t come from our side of the family so it must have come from the other side.

Anything he does that’s cute and adorable, he gets from his dad, anything he does that isn’t (not that he ever does, but if he did), would come of course from his mother’s side of the family.

Time is a funny thing. You have your own children then one day you look up and they have theirs. You try to right all the wrongs from the past and even when you aren’t able to then it’s their parents’ fault any way, right?

Quality time used to be time spent alone, but it is no longer reading a book or darning socks, (not that I ever did), but it sounds good.

Quality time is any time that I can spend with James Lucas Chapman and allow the world to stop just for him.


Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a Shelby County resident. You can reach her at