Being a Grandparent

Another One on the Way!

This is a repost of a blog post I wrote just before my first granddaughter was born.  Now we are anxiously awaiting the birth of my second granddaughter!  I can’t wait!  Of course, the photos have changed, but the wishes are the same.  Dedicated to my sweet granddaughter who I cannot wait to meet…

My daughter is having a daughter, and it seems like it hasn’t been any time since I first learned she was expecting!  Of course, it doesn’t to her.  She is in her last trimester and the baby can’t make its debut fast enough.  I can’t wait to meet her.  She is our second grandchild and the first child for my daughter and son-in-law.  There are some things I would like her to know.

Our little granddaughter

Dearest Granddaughter:

You are almost here and we are beside ourselves with excitement!  Your mother and daddy and Pop and I cannot wait to meet you!  We have seen you moving around in your ultrasound pictures but we are looking forward to seeing what you actually look like.  Who will you look like?  Will you inherit Coker traits, Nunn traits, Wells traits, or McClure traits?  Probably a mix of all!  We are wondering how much you will weigh and how long you will be, and what day and time you will make your appearance.  What we do know is this:  you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) and God created your inmost being and knit you together in your mother’s womb.  (Psalm 139:13).

Daughter Natalie with husband Bryan

You should know that you are being born to parents who are already in love with you and are eagerly fixing up your room and committed to providing for your every need and probably much of what you will want!  Your mother has taken good care of herself and you, and your father has worked very hard to make your home as comfortable as possible.

There are a few things you should remember.  I hope your parents will read you these words when you are old enough to understand, and then I hope you will read them when you are able to read and understand.

First of all, the world is a big place and you may feel small.  Just remember this:  God has created you for a specific purpose in this life, and there is no one else who can fulfill that purpose.  You are unique and there is no one in the world like you.  There never has been, and there never will be.  You are the only you. . .ever!  Isn’t that amazing?  When you feel like you are just a face in the crowd, remember that!

Me with daughter Natalie in 1989.

Another thing:  never forget that you are loved.  Sometimes in this life others may make you feel like you are unloved and that no one cares for you.  This couldn’t be further from the truth!  No matter what you do or where you go, remember that your parents and your grandparents love you.  In fact, your great-grandparents love you, as well as your aunts and uncles!  If, by the time you read this, you have a sister or brother, they love you as well.  More importantly, God loves you.  You will always be loved, no matter what.

Another thing:  you don’t have to be like anyone else.  There is a lot of pressure in our society to be athletic or thin or wear certain clothes or hairstyles or makeup.  You don’t have to be those things.  The only thing you have to do is be yourself.  People will be drawn to a person who is authentic and not pretending or trying to be someone or something they are not.  You are the only you, so be yourself.

Don’t forget to have fun on your journey through life.  You can have a big time without hurting people or breaking the law.  You can be joyful and happy without depending on others to provide joy and happiness.  There is a secret to joy and happiness, and it lies within yourself and your relationship to God.  Loving and serving God brings a joy and happiness that others will find attractive.  You don’t have to be the prettiest or the most athletic or the richest.  You will draw others to you because God’s love will shine through you.

Finally, my dear, sweet little granddaughter, be whatever you want to be, but try lots of things before you decide.  Adults will tell you that you can do anything you want to do, but that isn’t completely true.  For instance, you have to have a mathematical and scientific mind to become a doctor.  You need a pleasing voice to become a professional singer.  You have to be a certain height and weight to be a model.  Different careers require different abilities and aptitudes.  Try many different things while you are growing up to find out what you are good at and enjoy doing.  Then you can choose with confidence.

34 weeks!

Our family is already so blessed to have you in it, even now before we have seen you in person!  We love you already.  I look forward to the day I can hold you in my arms and look into your eyes.  Will they be blue, brown, green, or hazel?  I love you, sweet darling Evie.  Now and forever, “to infinity and beyond!”  (Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story)

Just waiting for baby!



Being a Grandparent

Blacelets, Coineys, and Oscar the Grouch

My two-year-old granddaughter has a language all her own, and it’s a delight to be around her.  As her “Coco,” I get to be around her at least two days a week, sometimes more.  With her baby sister arriving in a few weeks, I’m sure we’ll be spending even more time together.  She is a little tomboy who loves being outside and investigating all kinds of leaves, flowers, and bugs—could that be due to her biology teacher grandma? 

Observing nature from Peepaw’s trailer


But she is also all girl.  As soon as she was able to grab things, she zeroed in on my jewelry, and now she demands that I give her my “blacelets” when I am wearing my bangle bracelets. She likes to loop them on her wrists and ankles.  It’s what I call “blingage.”
Trying on Meemaw’s bracelets
Another of her favorite activities is playing with her Peepaw’s (my dad’s) coins from a little box on his chest of drawers.  She picks up the “coineys,” sorts and counts them, and then throws them.  That’s when they go back into the box and we find something else to do.
When “Tootie” is tired of trekking the acres of my parents and our adjoining property and playing with blacelets and coineys, it is time to settle in for an afternoon nap.  That’s when she wants me to read “How to be a Grouch” by Oscar the Grouch of “Sesame Street.” 
Between Oscar’s antics, blacelets, and coineys, staying at Coco and Pop’s makes for a tired toddler indeed.  Nighty night.
Being a Grandparent

Coco: World Traveler and Grandma Extraordinaire

One of the many beautiful beaches in Costa Rica

Can it be three months since my last post?  If you’re following my attempts at blogging, I apologize.  Life just gets in the way sometimes, and sometimes in a glorious fashion!

November found me most days at the little shop where I work part-time.  We got busy with Christmas gift wrapping earlier than usual this year, which required some schedule rearranging so I could be at work. It seemed that with Thanksgiving being a little early, our customers started their shopping earlier, and called upon us to wrap their treasures.  We’re not complaining, though.  We were very busy until Christmas Eve.

I got a break in the wrapping frenzy, though.  My son and his wife invited me to come along with them on vacation to help with my two-year-old grandson.  Destination?  Costa Rica!

One last chance to use my passport before it expired, and what a lovely way to do it!  We enjoyed a tropical paradise while everyone here had to dig out their heavy winter coats.  The Pacific Ocean was absolutely beautiful, the howler monkeys and iguanas fascinating, and the bonding time with my grandson priceless.

Me and grandson just before a wave hit him and made him scared of the beach the rest of the trip!
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, so after ten days we returned to our daily lives, and me to the wrapping frenzy.  I’ll never forget my time with my son and his family, and I’ll forever treasure the moments my grandson and I shared.
I can’t believe I’m here!
“Tell me about the trains in the shower, Coco,” he says when we lay down for his nap.  Then I tell him the special bedtime story I made up just for him. “Nighty night, sleep tight!”
Being a Grandparent

When Grandchildren are Jealous

I had a wonderful Mother’s Day.   What made mine extra special is that I had both of my grandchildren here at the same time.  My son and daughter came to a family lunch at my parents’ home with their spouses and my grandchildren, and I couldn’t have been happier.  They couldn’t have given me a better gift.  What a special day!  What a blessing!

My mother and sister and I made preparations for the lunch by making our families’ favorite dishes, but what I was not prepared for was the jealousy of the grandchildren for my attention!  Kind of flattering, that they both wanted their Coco’s full attention!  Evie was NOT happy that she had to share me with Kip, and Kip did NOT like her playing with the toy car he had been playing with!

I don’t get to see him very often, so I made it a point to play with Kip, because I see Evie several times a week.  At one point I looked over from the living room into the dining room and caught her staring at me.  She immediately wanted down from her high chair and then came over and began to play with the toys Kip had been playing with.  That’s when he grabbed the toy car and said, “Mine!” 

Being the grandmother of two toddlers wanting my attention at the same time was certainly a challenge but I loved it!  I just hope they will get to know each other and learn to love being together.  That would make this grandma very happy.

How about you?  Do you have grandchildren or children who vie for their grandparents’ attention?

Being a Grandparent

Weebles wobble, toddlers toddle. . .

Is there anything more fun than observing the wonder of new discoveries in a toddler?  If you need a dose of joy, follow a toddler, defined by Merriam-Webster as “a young child who is just learning to walk.”  Wikipedia states that “a toddler is a child 12 to 36 months of age.”  I prefer Wikipedia’s version.  That makes me a crazy-in-love grandmother with two toddler grandchildren–one boy two years old and one girl 16 months old.  They are a hoot to watch.
The best place to observe is outdoors.  Recently my grandson came for a visit, and since he lives in the city, our country home with its wide open spaces drew him like honeybees to blooming redbud trees.  My parents live next door and when he spotted Peepaw’s varied collection of tractors, lawn mowers, and golf carts, he took off across their large yard like a stray dog caught eating cat food.  My son had to break into a run to catch him, because you know, out here, there are many dangers like wasps, snakes, and rusty nails that you don’t encounter where they live.
The little guy just couldn’t get to everything he wanted to see fast enough.  He flitted from one machine to the next, from one cat to the next, from one pile of dirt to the next.   We set him on mowers, tractors, trailers, and let him walk into Peepaw’s shop.  He chased the two cats, who are savvy enough to hide from him.  A couple of times I had to grab him before he got hurt or found an unfriendly insect or two, and he let me know his feelings about that in no uncertain terms.
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Our grandson with his Pop.  He can’t wait to get down and run!
The visit ended too quickly, but now he is old enough to remember Pop and Coco’s and Peepaw and Meemaw’s houses out in the country, and no doubt soon he will be reminding his parents to bring him more often.  We can hope, at least.
There was a Hasbro TV commercial back in the 70’s that said, “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.”  Well, toddlers toddle. . .and they don’t slow down!