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Category Archives: Grandparenting

Repetition: Disdain or Delight

Two weeks ago I made a trip to our local library to pick up some books to read to my grandson. We exhausted the books at home I was looking forward to some new reading material. I brought home ten books that were all new to me.

In the mix of books was Cock-A-Doodle-Moo by Bernard Most. It has become my grandson’s favorite. When I come home from work he greets me at the door with the book and walks over to the recliner and starts patting it for me to sit. He backs himself up to the chair for me to pick him up to read the book to him.

In the morning he searches for my library book bag for the book. When I ask him if I should read him the book he squeals with delight and follows the same routine as the evening. When I finish reading it to him he says “More”. I don’t know how many times I’ve read the book to him but there are parts in the book when I tell him to help read the book he says “Moo” where he should for the story.

As an adult I am often bored by predictable behavior. When did that change? As a teenager I would listen to songs on my record player over and over again until I knew all the words. In high school I worked hard at memorizing my parts for Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Arsenic and Old Lace. It required lots of repetition but it was okay because it was for a reason.

Everyday my mind craves new information. I want to learn and am easily frustrated with hearing the same old thing. Oh that I could find delight in hearing and seeing the same old thing as my grandson does when I read him the same book day after day even when there are many other choices.

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When They Fall Out of the Nest

Just two short years ago my husband and I were talking about being empty nesters. Our oldest son had his own apartment, second son bought a home, oldest daughter living in an apartment with other college friends and our youngest daughter was graduating from high school and would be heading off to college in a few months.

Some dear friends teased about me needing a new pair of running shoes for at home as my husband chases me around a house with no children. Others talked about how lonely our home would be when our youngest moved out and left for college. We knew we would miss our kids but we loved to watch our oldest three succeed and would be excited for our youngest to head out on her own.

Life took a bit of a twist and turn back then. Just two short months after graduation our youngest gave birth to our first grandchild. She and her son have lived with us while she has attended college. Driving 35 miles one way three days a week.

A year ago our oldest son moved in to save money for a down payment for his own home. He just couldn’t save while paying rent at the same time. Now at the end of this month he will move into his own home. We are excited for him and excited to help him get settled.

Last weekend our oldest daughter moved back home until July 15, 2011. She will work at our family business until her summer classes begin and she moves into her new apartment with her sister and nephew.

Today our daughters signed a one year lease for their own apartment in St. Cloud. They will live together for our oldest daughter’s last year of college and our youngest’s third year along with her son. They move in July 15, 2011. What will happen after this next year who knows?

I knew the day would come eventually but now my quiver is full and will soon be empty. These days the washing machine is going almost constantly and the refrigerator door is always open with someone checking out its contents. I will have to pare down my grocery shopping for six to two and somehow adjust to doing laundry for only two. The fact that my dishwasher isn’t working properly won’t seem like such a big deal when it is just the two of us.

The silence will be deafening at times I’m sure but I doubt I will be lacking for things to fill my time. My greatest fear is that we will not rush home from work like these past two years to see what our grandson has been up to each day and instead become workaholics.

I know that this summer we will be taking advantage of what time we have with our grandson, daughters, and son while they are at home. We even bought our fishing license and fixed the boat lift so we can get the boat on the lake sooner than later. The Fourth of July used to be soon enough in the most recent years.

I will be biting my tongue more in the days to come, wanting the days to be remembered for the good times and not the petty arguments that develop over small things that really won’t matter five years from now or even next week. I want it to be an encouraging send off for each of them. For them to know we are proud of each one of them and eager to for them to feel the success for all their hard work.

I think I am ready to let them fly……

 

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Are We Done Yet?

Yesterday after church my husband and I took our son, daughter and grandson out for dinner.

When we were all finished eating and the waitress had cleared our table of everything except our coffee cups my grandson struck this pose. I couldn’t resist taking out my camera and taking a picture.

Afterall, the reason I carry my camera with me everywhere is in hope of getting the perfect picture someday. This one comes about as close to perfection in my book as I can get. Just a proud grandma speaking.

On our drive home I remembered times, not often, when my parents took us out to eat for our birthday breakfast at a pancake house. We would eat our breakfast and then sit not so patiently waiting for permission to get up from the table.

It always seemed like it took forever as Mom and Dad drank their coffee. Just how much coffee did they need anyway?

We wanted to go the wishing well that they had at the pancake house. It was a little wooden well that was filled with toys. Each child got to choose one toy from the well before they left.

My grandson wasn’t worried about any toy but he did want to see the large stuffed bear that resides just inside the restaurant doors. There were also deer and moose mounts that caught his eye.

When we let him out of his high chair he headed straight for the door and stood next to the bear and began jabbering as only 20 month old can do.

I could almost read his mind as he talked to the bear saying “Finally they are done with their coffee! I thought they would never finish!”

 
 

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100% Sheer Determination

Twenty months old, 32 pounds, 36 inches tall and full of sheer determination. My grandson loves to be outside so yesterday after church things had warmed up enough that my daughter dressed him up to go outside.

We put a couple of lawn chairs on the paved driveway in the sun and brought out some toys for my grandson to play with outside. As we sat in our chairs, she read and I knitted as he walked up and down the driveway pushing his toy lawnmower through the mud and puddles.

Things were going well for quite a while until he discovered Grandpa’s snowmobile and wanted a ride. He came over to my chair, pulled me up and out of the chair, marched us over to the snowmobile, pulled himself up on it and wanted me to take him for a ride.

I can drive a snowmobile but I am not great in the starting it department. I can start it once it has been started for the first time for the day but pull starting it is not my strong suit. I told my daughter to go inside and get Grandpa to take him for a ride. He did not want to get off the snowmobile.

Grandpa came out and drove him around the yard and along the shore of the lake for about 20 minutes and then they came back to the house. He was okay with taking a break for about 20 minutes and then he wanted to go again.

We told him we were done for the day but he crawled up a 8 foot high snow bank from plowing that the snowmobiling was perched on. Then he grabbed hold of the rubber mat on the back of the snowmobile and pulled himself to standing next to the snowmobile. Next he reached across the seat of the snowmobile and pulled himself on the seat and then finally into place for riding. I can’t believe his upper body strength at his age.

He knows that you need to pull the yellow handle to start the snowmobile and tried his hardest to start it. No luck…Then he started hollering for Grandpa for a ride in his twenty-month-old gibberish. We didn’t need the words to know what he wanted. A picture is worth a thousand words or more sometimes.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2011 in Family, Grandparenting, Life Happens

 

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