Co-grandparents. Otherwise known as the in-laws, or the other grandparents. These folks are now your partners for life in this grand gig called grandparenting. Partners in loving your grandchildren as only grandparents can. Hold them close. Have their back and they'll have yours. At least that's the goal, for the good of all — your mutual grandkiddos, in particular.
Pediatricians. It's comforting to know the person whom your child most turns to for advice and guidance regarding his or her child. Other than you, that is.
Pastors, priests, ministers, and other spiritual leaders. The closer you are to this individual, the more likely you'll be forgiven for excessive camera clicks and hand claps during baptisms, christenings, communions, and confirmations. Perhaps even weddings... those ones way far off in the distant future.
Parents who could be your own children. Guys and gals who are the friends of your own children, most of whom have their own children.
Friends of your grandchildren. What could be more grand than a bashful boy introducing you to playmates with a grin and a "This is Gramma." Or being nonchalantly asked, "You wanna play ball with me and my friends, Gramma?" Accept the invitation without hesitation. Such offers may not come your way for long.
Teachers. Take the classroom tour with tots who want to share their cubby, attend high school programs with kids who want to show off their talents. Nurture the relationship with educators who nurture your loved one's noggin. They may even invite you to help in the classroom... where a grandchild will proudly introduce you to his classmates as joyfully as he has his playmates.
Coaches. From T-ball to high school football and every sport between and beside, for girls and boys of all ages, knowing the coach wins you points with the grands. More importantly, connecting with the coach lets grandkids know how much you respect and appreciate other adults who impact their upbringing — behavior little (and big) athletes will, one hopes, model.
Other grandparents. It's flat-out impossible to fully explain the bond between grandparents and grandchildren to folks who have no grandchildren. Other grandparents, though, get it. Fully, completely, deeply. They're the only ones who truly appreciate brag books, smartphones filled with photos, Facebook timelines packed with pictures as well as quips and quotes about kids. They're also the only ones who understand and empathize with the perceived slights, longing hearts, bruised egos, and oft-bitten tongues that go with the territory.
The you you never knew existed. Say hello to the person who coos at babies in the grocery store. Who now calls all kids — even unrelated ones — honey. Who says ohmygoodness! instead of oh shit! A person who unexpectedly adores imprints of hands, feet, thumbs. A person who's been around the block and had plenty of knocks yet now finds his or her heart so unbelievably packed with love it seems at times that it just may burst. Savor this relationship above all others. The one with you... as a grandparent. For it's the best you yet! (Even if you do slip up and say the S-word — or worse — now and again.)