1. Go on an unforgettable vacation
with them (and their spouses,
if they’re married)
From a fishing trip to European cruise, depending on your tastes and budget.
2. Make them laugh
Brilliantly pretend you’re tipsy after one glass of Sangria, or
purposely call Keanu Reeves “Keith Ragu.”
3. Plan at least one blowout surprise birthday party they’ll never forget
It doesn’t matter where, as long as he’s surrounded by the people he loves.
4. Give them something handmade that makes them think of you
when they look at it
A photo collage of you and them over the years. A hand-knitted sweater. A quilt.
5. Take your grandchildren away for the summer to give your
“kids” a long rest
From the obvious (your house) to the ridiculous (a Malibu beach house).
6. Do whatever it takes to help them out during a time of hardship
Give them money, do chores, take them to doctors’ appointments if they need assistance.
7. Go wild with them
Ask if you can take a hit off her bong, or a shot of his Patrón.
8. Continually tell them endearing stories about their childhood
Like when your son peed on the doctor who delivered him, or when your daughter
ran away because you asked if she wanted to go bra shopping.
9. Go with them on excursions that don’t interest you one bit
To his alma mater’s football games in frigid weather, or
to help her pick out new dinnerware.
10. Respect the major decisions they make, even if you think they’ve
lost their minds
Gift her a beautiful set of brushes when she leaves a six-figure job
to pursue her passion for painting.
11. Do things that show them how smart you think they are
Ask your investment banker son for advice about your finances, or your
journalist daughter to comment on something you’ve written.
12. Make a video for them and have it delivered after you’re gone
Tell them how they’ve enriched your life, what you wish for them,
and how you’d like them to remember you.
What did we miss?