Friday, July 4, 2014

"What's Going On Over There?"

Angeline looks a little concerned. But Ava thinks it's hilarious that grandma hasn't had much to say lately. The family carnival is coming to town in a few weeks and I'm buzzing about like a crazy bee, putting it all together. There's 23 little guests confirmed and I want it all to run perfectly. That's been my excuse. At least it's the one I offer to concerned people who've been asking lately, "What's going on over there?"

Interesting that grandma blog posts I enjoy reading most are ones that describe everyday, ordinary things done together. So heartwarming to see grandkids beaming away while they bake, craft or ride a bike alongside the person whose primary mission in life to is to protect, spoil and enjoy them. We've done those things too, in the fleeting months that come before Kindergarten begins and grandchildren move into a world where more time is spent with classmates and teachers than family. I think kids remember simple moments best. And if they don't, well grandma's got plenty of photos stored as reminders!

I always get excited when I see an article entitled "Ten Great New Adventures to Enjoy With Your Grandchildren." I'm always eventually disappointed though. "Take them to the zoo!" is always tops on the list. Well, who doesn't do that already?

Nick couldn't wait to show me his favorite skeleton. A year ago it would have been a fire truck.

At twenty-two months, little girls don't mind splashing in six inches of water under the hovering shadow of a sun screen, bug spray, emergency flotation device bearing, finger-on-911-button grandmother.

But a soon-to-be four year old has mastered the skill of politely informing grandma that her dream of riding a fleet footed cheetah is being hampered by unnecessary death grips about her waist and shoulders!

For the time being, we're done looking for teeth to make their appearance. Instead, we're watching them move on out, creating an extra stop here for the Tooth Fairy.

I was present the day Mary Jo organized a cousins' dog biscuit making party. The kids love their pets and those of their grandparents and friends. For that reason, they chose to cut their treats in the shape of big hearts.

They love me too, and all the fun we have together. When interests change though, I know I need to do the same. Before this summer, the boys always piled into my lap during each and every cartoon watching break we took, sometimes to the point of near suffocation! They still join me on the couch, but sit a foot away. I can't help but notice that, at almost six, they regard themselves as young men, not little boys.

"I'm a big girl now, grandma," Bree tells me frequently, and I am so glad that I have not missed a thing. I was there while she was a "little girl," enjoying many giggling moments when I could have been honing gourmet cooking skills or quilting a bounty of heirloom fabric pieces. I put those pursuits on temporary hold and have absolutely no regrets!

This post is dedicated to fellow grandma friends Carol, Connie, Debra, Diana, JoAnn, Judy, Kc, Lisa, Nancy, Pat, Sandy, Sharon and Sheila who know who they are because they'd agree with every word I've written here. They also know you don't have to construct a six foot paper mache carnival cat in your garage in order to be a super-grandma. Yikes. Who'd be crazy enough to do that? Me? Well, maybe! Purr-haps that character will be the topic of my next post. We'll see you then!


  1. Those little faces with those big smiles always make me smile. I can only imagine how they make your heart pound with love. And, yes, we do a variety of things from trips to the zoo to not holding on so that she can get that thrill of the cheetah. :-) This morning I assisted in the creation of a blueberry syrup that would make a smoothie so delicious it should be sold on a website which led us to researching names on Go Daddy which let him to explaining the difference between .com, .org, .net and this grandma thinking how does this eight-year old boy know all this stuff. LOL Looking forward to the carnival post.

  2. Well this was just adorable and I BUST out laughing at the twins in the pool with your finger on the emergency # just in case. Oh do I remember those days / way more relaxed when the kids get older. And look at that baby fine curly baby love love.
    Meanwhile I think the boys grew a bit and that losing the baby fat going to older kid stage now. Isn't that right when you start to's going to be easier now....and mourn at the same time....where's my baby going.

    But you've got two babies yet...adorable! :)

  3. First - such darling grandkids. And then - this really went right to my heart. My two grandsons that live nearby are growing up so fast and their interests are changing. When Jahn was 11 (he will be 13 in September) we went to the science fair at his school - we were walking down the hall and he caught up with a classmate of his and they began talking seriously - we couldn't hear what they were saying (probably talking about their science projects) and I had a strange feeling of Jahn pulling away from us - this was an activity (talking with his classmate) that we no longer could be involved in - he was beginning the path of "leaving" and belonging to his own generation. I know this is what we want - for our grandkids to be self sufficient and socially able to interact with others - but it tugged a bit at my heart - Jahn was beginning to form his own world.

    Both boys' interests are changing so fast - like you said - not so many snuggles but then that can be replaced with great conversations about what they are involved in too. This summer I get to have Ben here 2-3 days a week and we have drawn up plans for making the swingset (which they have outgrown) into a clubhouse. We have made rules, guidelines and listed all the supplies needs for the process. Jahn is moving to a small farm (only 10 min away) and so we will take field trips there so that Jahn can show Ben around and they can interact with the chickens and the goats and make memories during this changing time in their lives.

    One relative told me that she had stopped spending time with her grandson when he turned 6 because they had nothing in common anymore. It saddened me - we all have to adjust and adjusting to the growing interests of older grandkids can be such an adventure. Mind boggling at times - but what an adventure.

    Ok - I'm done - thanks for this post.

  4. OMG -- I can not believe how much older Bree looks in that cheetah picture. Much like Amara she is growing up too fast! I do love this post and other than the fact that I am not insane enough to try and build a 6' cat in my garage I agree with all of it! You my dear set the bar way too high for us mere mortal Grandmas to reach!

    Like Deb I loved the 911 part! I am seriously amazed you let them in their without bubble wrapping them first or at least a life vest! You did have the emergency CPR kit next to the pool, right? But we do certainly agree it is the everyday moments that make this the best job ever. We are lucky enough to get to experience the every day moments and oh the memories!

    One last thing -- I know how you hate including links in anything but it sure would be nice to have links to all the Grandmas you mentioned so we could read about the fun they are having. Just saying..

  5. Ahhhh, this post is adorable. I am seriously looking forward to seeing the paper mache carnival cat! I know what it's like when young boys turn 6 and start to be all grown up all of a sudden. We have a soon to be 7 year old around here, and his interests are changing by the second. But it keeps us on our toes J and it's nice for us to adapt to their interests, whatever they may be! I can tell how much the twins have changed since I started reading your blog! And little Bree is looking so grown up too! :)

  6. Love the share those smiles are priceless!!!!

  7. Look at those smiles. They are adorable. I can't wait to see the carnival post. You're so creative. They do grow up fast, unfortunately.