Category Archives: Grandparents

One Happy Mama

family-word-cloud-concept-illustration-wordcloud-collage-34823833Eleven years ago, my son and his new wife moved from Wisconsin to New Jersey. My daughter-in-law had a scholarship to attend school for her masters. My son quickly got a job to support them. At the time, I had high hopes they would return to Wisconsin when Chandra had completed her schooling.

As the years went on, I waited and waited and waited; hoped and dreamed they would return with my two grandchildren. Anyone who has children and grandchildren living a long distance away, understands how awful it is.

Rob and Chandra were pretty good sending pictures, but it wasn’t the same. As the kids got older, we started Skyping. But, as children can be, they wiggled, squiggled and pretty much bounced around during our talks. At times I felt dizzy watching them bound in and out of the screen.

My husband and I got out to see them as often as we could, and they were able to return for visits a few times. I longed for those grandchildren. I missed them, and I know they missed PopPop and myself.

The cousins also missed each other. The two oldest girls are only twelve days apart. They met when one was a month old and the other two weeks. But, somehow they bonded with each other. We were amazed at how they bonded with the lack of seeing each other.

The girls meet. It was hard telling which one was which.

The girls meet. It was hard telling which one was which.

Waiting for our plane to see cousin in New Jersey.

Waiting for our plane to see cousin in New Jersey.

Then about two months ago, I received a phone call from my son that nearly had me in tears, “Mom, we want to move back to Wisconsin. I want to work with Dad in the business.”

While my heart was swelling with joy, I listened “calmly” to his reasoning, how they wanted to make the move before school started and what they needed to do to get ready. I told myself not to get excited in case it didn’t work out. But when we hung up, I jumped around the living room, punching the air with my fists and yelling with joy. I wanted to tell the world they were “coming home.” We had to keep things under wraps because of their jobs in Jersey.

heart and homeIt all worked out and they are now settled in their new home. My son is working in the office, busy learning the ins and outs of running a business, learning accounting programs and taxes. The grandkids have started school, and Chandra is trying to find a job.

Al and I moved from our small apartment (where we stayed when in town), to a much smaller room in the basement in their house. Sounds like a role-reversal, doesn’t it?

Friendly game of Kubb.

Friendly game of Kubb.

Last weekend we had a “Welcome Back to Wisconsin” party at our house. The weather didn’t cooperate very well, but we all had a good time. The cousins played tag, caught toads and crickets and did all the wonderful outdoor stuff that kids do. Unfortunately they couldn’t swim in the pool since it was too cold.

With three grandchildren half an hour south and two an hour and a half north, seeing them all is much easier. No more once a year or every-other year visits. Holidays will be different. Summers will be more fun. We’ve already planned a large family camping trip for next year.

This grandma is blessed – and very, very happy.

Bonding over making chocolate chip cookies.

Bonding over making chocolate chip cookies.

The best part of making cookies.

The best part of making cookies.

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FIshing with the Grandkids?

I’m not sure what happened to this post, but I found out that the majority of my followers never saw it, so I’m going to try again. I’m sorry to those who are getting this for the second time.

Today my husband and I had only two of the grandkids. We planned a special day, including UNO, wrestling on the floor and fishing. Here’s how it went:

Making cookies for fishing: check. IMG_9152

Making sure poles and lines were set up: check.

IMG_9157Digging worms: check.

Making special sandwiches, snacks, and drinks for picnic on boat: check. (This is the most important part of fishing – right?)

Checking to make sure it wouldn’t rain until after midnight like the forecast said: check.

Poles, food and kids in truck: check.

Backing boat up to loading dock: check.

Unload gear from truck: check.

Start unhooking boat: check.

Are those sprinkles on the windshield?: check.

Are those sprinkles getting heavier?: check.

Re-hook-up boat and put gear back in truck: check.

Did it stop sprinkling?: check.

Re-unhook boat and put gear back in boat: check.

Is it now raining even heavier?: darn it all – check.

Is it pouring?: check.

Give it up?: check.

Head to nature center? check.

Nature center closed 15 minutes earlier: check.

Wander around outside – no rain. check.

Go back to fishing? check.
Is it sprinkling again?: check.

Head home? check.

Picnic on blanket on living room floor? Priceless. IMG_9159

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A Grandmother’s Emotional Day

flower-heart-shape-valentine-card-design-element-37283156I was going go blog about something totally different this week, but something happened yesterday that I wanted to talk about. I’ve mentioned in other posts that I love, love, love being a grandmother. I love everything about it and have often said it’s God’s reward for raising our own children.

My two kids were good kids. They didn’t get into trouble – that I know of, anyway. They did chores, got good grades, had jobs in high school and have grown into responsible adults. That’s not to say we didn’t have our issues once in a while. My daughter and I butted heads a few times. My mother thought it was funny, and now I can laugh when she butts heads with her daughters.

Even though I loved being a mother, being a grandparent is different. We see our grandchildren with different eyes. We watch our children struggle with their own children and smile. Been there, done that. In most grandparents’ eyes, their grandchildren can do no wrong. They are the smartest, cutest, most creative and athletic, best behaved (usually) creatures on the face of the earth.

I know some young parents whose own parents refuse to be part of their grandchildren’s lives. Oh, how I feel sorry for them. One man told me he didn’t want to be a grandparent. He said, ” I don’t want to be a grandfather. It means you’re getting old.” My response: “You’re getting old anyway, you might as well enjoy it.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Anyway, my oldest granddaughter is ten. When she was one, I started sitting two days a week. Not only did it help my daughter and her husband financially, but it gave me the opportunity to be part of hers and the future little ones’ lives. For nine years I’ve taken her and her two siblings to library class, gymnastics, swimming, piano lessons, t-ball, soccer, picked them up from daycare or school when they were sick and took them to four-year-old kindergarten. The kindergarten program, which was part of the city school system, was held at their daycare. So for nine years, I’ve come to know the owner, manager and many of the teachers. Over the years, instead of daycare, we always said the kids were going to school.

graduation-4379698Last week, my youngest grandson graduated from 4-year-old kindergarten. It was cute and fun, short and sweet. I thought I would cry knowing this would be the last one, but I didn’t. But I didn’t count on how I would feel taking him to school yesterday. Because of the snow days this year, he had to go a few extra days. As I drove him to school, I realized this was the last time I would enter that building with a little one attached to my hand, watching him grow and develop until he no longer needed the security of my hand. It would probably be the last time I would see the staff. I couldn’t believe how emotional I became.

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Then, I couldn’t believe it when I cried as I left the building. Shirley, the manager gave me a hug. It wasn’t any easier when I picked him up after school and left the building and everyone said goodbye. I cried when a mother I became friends with gave me a hug.

It isn’t any easier today as I write this. It’s really bothering me that this part of my life as a grandmother is over. In the fall all three of them will be in school all day. I’m sure I’ll cry when I walk away from the building with just the dog on the leash.?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

All I have to do is get through a summer of swimming lessons, t-ball, gymnastics, soccer, school lessons (we keep up with learning during the summer), bike rides, hikes, camping, piano lessons, and anything else we can come up with. I won’t think about the fall. I won’t think about how fast they are growing up. Much.

I will simply think about how blessed I am to be part of their lives.

Until the next time.

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Filed under Grandparents, Reflection