I Want Them To Know Me!

IMG_7118It’s My Goal

I Want Them To Know Me

They live far away.  I can’t see them every day.

Still I want them to know me.

In between visits, we chat on the phone but I can’t see how much they’ve grown.

I want them to know me.

So visits are as frequent as they can be and when we’re together I can actually see…

They really do know me!

 

And So I Travel Back And Forth

When I leave home, my mind is preoccupied with all the things I’ve left undone.  My home needs my attention.  My other grand-babies count on me.  There’s always a little melancholy as I pack to leave. Still, I pack that bag and hit the airport early so there is no chance I will miss that flight. And when I arrive, my home takes a back seat to this home, these babies. And sure enough, they’ve grown.  But they know me!

We pick up right where we left off.  My grandson…oh goodness, there will always be a special bond between us.  He knows just how to melt my heart.  This time, it was by moving a chair close to me and saying, “I want to sit by you, Grandma, because I love you.”  On the first night, though, he struggles with his routine.  “Can Grandma read your bedtime story?”  “No, I want mommy to…but I still love you Grandma.” By the end of this visit, he invites me to that special time of the day.  “You can come lay with us, Grandma.”  I have earned a place again.

Now, my granddaughter, she’s a little tougher.  She and I did not grow up together.  Her  connection to her mommy is deeper. I have to work to gain her trust, every single time, but last night she let me rock her to sleep. I worked my way into her heart one more time.

Making Memories

I’m trying to capture golden moments.  I’m trying to be part of their life, feel their days – the good and the bad parts.  It won’t be long and they’ll be too busy for their grandma.  Friendships and activities will consume their time and I will be relegated to periodic visits for school concerts or athletic events.  I know this.

And so, on each trip, we try to plan something that is memorable.  This time, it turned out to be as simple as setting up a wading pool and sprinkler.  They’d not done either yet. So, guess what?  We did it!  Mommy bought a new garden hose and pulled out a blow up pool that had been waiting since last summer.  Together, we made that moment happen and it was so completely joyful.  They jumped and splashed in the extraordinary May heat; laughing, screaming, and shouting out to the birds in the trees.  It was the moment I will remember from this trip.

Then, I try to take part in their events.  I want to feel their days.  This trip, it was a short little kids yoga class at their preschool, library story time, and a T-ball game. Then, mix in the play time activities.  This time, it was all about tiny legos.  Last time, it was the Super Ultimate Garage! My grandson dominates the play choices still.  His sister adores him so she gladly follows along.

And Before I Know It…

Another trip comes to an end and my eyes fill with tears…again.  It never gets easier.  It’s always the same. We talk about when the next time will be, how short a time there is to wait, but two months is a long time for all of us.  We just pretend that the time will go fast.

No Matter What

Until they are too busy, until I am no longer able to travel, I will make these trips.  I will continue to live from one memory to the next.  My days as a Grandma are still the best days of my life.  I’ll take the melancholy and the tears over and over again because in between them there is so much laughter and love.

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Days With Grandma Returns

Watch out! This Grandma’s back in business. The antics will continue with the newest baby in the family. Stay tuned.

January 14, 2017

Life Reset

It’s been a while since I’ve written. I had believed that my days with my grandson would last until he went off to school.  I had four or five good years, I thought.  Then I found out that he was about to become a big brother and my heart exploded.  My contract was sure to be extended!

Instead, “Days With Grandma” stopped; moved away.

Days are now visits, some longer than others but, all of them, short. Happiness fills those visits but I’m constantly reminded that it’s a visit.  It will end. So, I’ve struggled with writing about the joy that truly fills me each time. Visits are different.  I’m a guest…a special guest for sure, but none the less a brief diversion from the new routine. And so I watch as he shows me his new skills; running, climbing, building.  I see that he has embraced other little people as well;  thrilled to have others his size to run and climb and build with too.  He talks and sings now. Words spill freely from his consciousness. How did he learn all of that?  Laughter erupts often as he shares his unique view of the world.  One day, he described his throat as a drain which was super cute and logical so why did it surprise me when he also said that he had a “poop drain”?  Logical, lovable, growing up connections.

He’s now a big brother.  He has a little sister.  I enjoy my minutes with her but I have to admit, I don’t know her as well. I haven’t watched her every movement from the day she was born.  Our relationship has been a Facetime connection.  Every time I visit, she looks at me, initially, as a stranger.  During the visit, I hold her, rock her, play with her, and love her.  But, I don’t have stories to write about her. Her brother commands more attention.  She, quietly, observes his antics and throws out big beautiful smiles when we remember that she’s there too.  I am determined to visit often so she knows me, truly know me. But, I know it will always be different.

Days With Grandma Returns

Life goes on.  Right?  Time changes things.  I adjust.

And then, I learn there’s a new baby on the way.  This baby lives three blocks from me. I’m about to be a Grandma again!   Can I help with childcare?  Are you kidding me?

Yes.  Yes.  Yes. 

My Grandma duty started this week!  This time, I tell myself, “Just remember…

Enjoy the moment…the moment.

I Will Always Carry You

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In the beginning,
I didn’t know
just how much I’d love
watching you grow?

In the beginning
I just knew
I wanted you to know me
and me to know you.

So, in the beginning
I carried you and danced around, wild and free.
And then one day, my heart skipped a beat
because, you…you smiled up at me.

Well, time goes by so fast,and every day, you just grew and grew
First you crawled and then you walked.
I had to hurry to keep up with you.

You talk so much now
and you try to be a big boy too
but when you grow tired and reach up to me.
I can’t resist, when you say, “Carry you.”

The words are not quite right yet
Which makes it all so dear.
I just reach down and pick you up.
My heart melts as I hold you near.

Now you have a baby sister;
someone new for me to carry when she cries.
Even though it’s been just a few days,
she looks right at me with trusting eyes.

A little boy and now a baby girl;
I can feel my heart expand.
It just so happens, apparently,
I have plenty of love on hand.

I want to rock and sing to this new baby girl
and, with you, I want to play and play.
But time is passing and my eyes tear up.
Grandma’s visit will end soon. I now live far away.

But there’s a special place
for my little man and now his baby sister too.
It’s this great big place inside my heart,
Where I will always carry you.

Edges Of A Day

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My job, right now, is to take the sharpness off the edges of each day.

That’s what I wrote in my journal this morning.

Grandma’s job, when a new baby is born, is to be there; to just be there.

I try to remember back when my second child was born.  Who helped me?  My mom had died earlier that year.  Still, I would not have reached out to her for help.  She told me with my first “I raised my kids.  I don’t want to raise your’s.”  I am a different kind of grandma.

I am here…

This grandma learned, early on, that she needed to stay physically fit to keep up with growing baby number one. And, now that baby is two years old and we play together in bouncy houses and he challenges me to races in the hallway. “Run, grandma, run.  Hop, grandma, hop. Roll, grandma, roll”.  I get quite a workout from my little trainer.

I am here… to keep him busy while mama cares of the new baby.

The new baby had a need for doctor visits.  Something’s not right.  Mama and daddy are emotional and stressed.

I am here… to listen and encourage.  “Trust that everything will be ok.  Trust.”

Big brother doesn’t understand why things are different now.  “Daddy, play!”  Daddy is busy trying to help mama.  Big brother gets louder and louder.

I am here… to give him another option besides screaming.

I try to remember how I did it when my two girls were little.  How did I cope with the crying, the noise, the needs of two babies, and mountains of cloth diapers?  How did I do it alone?

This grandma raised her children but has more to give.

I am here… to take the sharpness off the edges of the day.

Sweet Memories

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Runny nose,
Running feet.
Little boy.
So,
So,
Sweet.

Pushing trucks,
Playing in sand.
Fingerprints left by
His
Little
Hand.

Happy chatter,
Singing songs.
Happy boy,
All
Day
Long.

Home filled.
So much noise!
Watch your step!
So
Many
Toys!

New baby!
Little sister.
Gentle touch.
Softly,
Kiss
Her.

Sun sets.
Another day.
Tears fall.
No
Daddy.
Play!

Sweet Moments
Flying by.
Cherished memories.
Make
Me
Cry!

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I Smiled

Begin Again

IMG_9498But first, I cried… as I took the empty carseat out of my car. I cried as I opened the back door only to see leftovers from breakfast: his favorite fruit yesterday was not his favorite fruit today. In the living room, there was a basket of blocks meant to stay at Grandma’s house. My home was now silent. I had just returned from dropping him and his mama off at the airport. They don’t live here anymore.

But, I smiled.

Now, I have nothing but time to retrace the days of their visit. It had been over a month since I’d seen them. I was thrilled that they were coming and they were going to stay with me! I bought books, and toys, and little boy pajamas with cartoon characters on them. I set up a Pack-N-Play in my spare bedroom with a fresh new crib sheet. I pulled out…

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Strawberry Fields, Forever!

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We’re going for a ride on a wagon, Little Man!

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I don’t want to go for a ride on a wagon.  I want to walk!

IMG_8585Look, there’s a tractor.  Remember the Barefoot Books song?  “Riding my tractor down a bumpy road.  In the trailer, there’s a heavy load…”  Remember that song?

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Yes, and the farmer goes over a bump and all the animals fall out!  I remember!

Don’t worry Little Man, we’ll hold on tight.

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And just like that, we’re here.  Look, there are strawberries everywhere!

You can help pick them and put them in our baskets.

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Yea, but look!  There goes another tractor!

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Ok, now what am I supposed to do?

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Hmmm, these taste just like the strawberries we have at home.

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Actually…they might be just a little bit better.

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I LOVE these strawberries!

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Ok, now what was I supposed to do?  I’m full.

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You’re supposed to stay here and help us pick berries to take home.

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Alright, but just for a little while, ok?

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There, that looks like enough.  See you later.

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Hey, where are you guys?

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Ah, there you are.

What?  We have to pick more?

I’m getting kind of tired you know.

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Well, finally!  You can carry the berries, ok?  I’ll just walk on ahead.

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Umm, excuse me!  You’re in my way!

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Nice shirt, though!

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Did you have a good time, little man?

Yea, but mom, I don’t want to ride on that wagon!

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But remember the tractor?

I remember the tractor!

Can’t we just walk?