Five Key Lessons I Learned from My Grandfather (To Be a Better Dad)

My grandfather, Benjamin was probably the best example that I had as a dad growing up since I never have a male role model to look up to. He had an insanely keen sense of connectedness that I’ve never come across anyone in my lifetime (except for my wife and daughter) but you wouldn’t know it from meeting him because he was so goofy.

It’s been five years now since he passed away. I’m glad my daughter got to meet him before he did.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved my grandmother but holy cow was she a nag. She would stand in front of me while he was already engaged in conversation with me and scream at him about how he never lets her talk. “Benjamin! Will you for once let me talk? You never let me say anything!” He would then turn to me and wink and giggle. I’d leave their house and she’d still be fussing at him. They were married for 60 years.

Be Silly
I loved my grandfather’s laugh. It was giddy and heartfelt and you knew that when he laughed the joy he was experiencing at the time was deep and sincere. Best of all, there was never an unsuitable time to laugh. Of course, we laughed when appropriate but even then we did take it a little too far sometimes.

Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
I don’t think I ever saw my grandfather frown or not have a smile on his face and there was hardly a time when he was not laughing at something. Nothing was off limits. I’m not advocating poking fun at folks (even though I did occasionally engage) but look we all know that life is too short. Have fun. Start with yourself.

Whenever my grandfather and I met, he would kiss me on the cheek. I know that may seem strange to some but what it taught me was to never be too embarrassed to give a hug or a kiss especially to my girls. And I do mean, my girls. ;o)

There’s No Such Thing as “Making it Up”
Whenever I was with him it was all about spending time together with no distractions. Nothing existed outside of our time together (especially grandma). Being a writer I do fail at times in this department but when it comes to my family I know that beyond a shadow of a doubt they know one thing.

I love them very much.

Thanks Grandpa. I miss you.

Leonardo Ramirez is an author of prose fiction and graphic novels in the genres of Young Adult and Children’s Books. For more information please visit