Being a Grandparent school

School on my mind

Today I dropped my beautiful grandson off at his elementary school for the first time ever. My heart swelled as he instructed me where to stop and let him out and as I watched him walk with the other children to the front doors of the school. His backpack secure on his back, wearing new Nike shoes and a new outfit from Gap, he seemed ready to take on the world.

Yesterday I asked him what his favorite part of school was. He replied, “I don’t know.” “So you like everything?” I asked. “Yes!” You can’t get better than that. I hope that positive attitude stays with him. I pray it does. I pray he always has today’s confidence and spirit. As a former teacher, I pray he carries that love of learning and being with friends throughout his life.

Today was my precious granddaughter’s first day of school, her first day of kindergarten. She doesn’t attend the same school as my grandson does, and I wasn’t able to be there, but her mom and dad and little sister dropped her off this morning. I wasn’t needed anyway. I did receive photos of her wearing the new outfit I bought her that said “Ready to rock kindergarten.” She posed proudly with her new lunch box and backpack, and later I saw a photo of her sitting in her classroom talking with her teacher. I pray today will be a good one for her, and that she will love school like her cousin does.

I hope soon to be able to pick her up from school, or maybe even to drop her off. These sweet and beautiful children make this grandma proud. I just wish their Pop was here to see them, but I suppose he is watching from Heaven and is as proud of them as their Coco is.

I will be like Mary, the mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19) Time flies, and I don’t want to miss a thing.

Speaking of school, my heart goes out to all the teachers, administrators, school staff, parents, and students. You are doing the best you can in very difficult circumstances: the threat of Covid 19, increasing regulations, and increasing pressure from all sides. May this school year be as free as possible from high stress and overwhelming frustration, and full of satisfaction and success. You deserve it!


Alzheimer's Being a Grandparent Life Parkinson's Disease

You Never Know

Remember when you last spoke to a loved one who passed on? Did you realize at the time that it would be the last time?

Life is full of last times. I’m sure there are others but the earliest one I remember is my high school graduation. As we hugged and said goodbye to our friends, we even said that it might be the last time we ever see each other, but at 18 does anyone really take that phrase seriously? So many of my classmates from the Class of 1977 have passed on, and most of them I never saw again after that last time, on graduation day in May of 1977.

What an awful photo! So blurry. . .it wasn’t a digital world back then.

What about when you’re raising children and you can hardly wait for them to be able to dress themselves, brush their own teeth, use the bathroom on their own? Suddenly they are doing those things and you don’t remember exactly when the last time was.

My granddaughter used to sit on the edge of my bed and look at the tiny charms on the rag lampshade on the nightstand. I never even took a picture. I used to take my grandson to a place called The Coop, which was a neat and safe indoor play area for little kids, and then I would take him to the play area in the nearby library. I used to rock my smallest granddaughter to sleep. All these things are in the past. I never realized the last time I did them that it was the last time.

The same goes for my husband. He worked as a night zookeeper and would call me in the evening during his lunch break. He would greet me by saying, “Hey, Nutty, whatcha doing?” When was the last time he affectionately called me Nutty? The Alzheimer’s took the affection away. Heck, it took everything away.

My handsome night keeper. . .

There are so many things we used to do together, or things that he used to say, which faded away as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s stole him from me. I wish I had known when they were the last times, but maybe that would have been just too sad.

Happier times, during a rare snowfall in Texas.

Cherish your moments, the first times, the last times, and all the in-between times. You never know when they’ll never be again.



Things I Can’t Wait to Do

There’s little to do around here these days except for cleaning, fixing meals, surfing the web, doing projects, running to the store when necessary, and talking on the phone or texting. I’ve just about exhausted the projects that I am willing to take on, and having nowhere to donate or store unwanted items makes decluttering a problem.  

I’m really not complaining because I know there are many people out there working to keep us safe, healthy, fed, receiving mail and shipments, and keeping stores, gas stations, the government, etc. in business.  I pray for you guys each and every day.  Still, I bet you are looking forward to better days as well.  

Here are things I look forward to doing:

  •  hugging my children and grandchildren. Not getting to see them in person has been the hardest part of this stay-at-home order.
  • playing with my grandchildren. I can’t wait to play peek-a-boo, finally have an Easter egg hunt, draw on the cement, blow bubbles, do puzzles, read books, play hide-and-seek again.
  •  going to church and greeting fellow believers in person.
  •  sitting down at a restaurant and enjoying a meal.
  •  meeting friends.
  •  getting together with family.
  •  going to garage sales.
  •  going shopping, especially thrift shopping.
  •  camping with friends.
  •  packing away my face mask.
What about you? What are the things you look forward to?
Hang in there. Stay safe and well.

Being a Grandparent

It’s a Toddler’s World

According to the toddler, that is.  Toddlers are unique creatures.  My fellow teachers and I used to say that about freshmen, but that is another blog post.  I’m sticking to toddlers today.  If you happen to live with one, my heart goes out to you.  If you are a stay-at-home mom with one, you deserve a medal.  If you keep toddlers in daycare or preschool, or you are the mother of twins or more, you deserve a Nobel peace prize.  It’s not an easy task being responsible for the care and nurturing of a one-t(w)o-three-year old.  I know this because I am experiencing it firsthand.  Again.

Thirty years ago, God blessed me and my husband with toddlers, but time has a way of smoothing out the rough edges in our memories. All I remember are the sweet sticky kisses, the cute outfits, the chubby smiles, the little hands in mine, the occasional tantrums.  Photos of my two sweet babies can bring tears to my eyes.  Those moments can never be recaptured.

Fast forward to last December.  My son and his wife invited me on a week-long vacation with them to help with my then two-year-old grandson.  It was a bucket-list trip to a tropical locale I would never have seen otherwise.  “Wake up, Coco!”  These were his cheery words at 6:30 in the mornings.  At least Mom or Dad would have the coffee ready.

Never idle, he loved to give his Coco a heart attack by jumping fearlessly into the pool whether he remembered how to swim or not.  But after a wave surprised him at the beach, my daring little grandson became terrified of the ocean and preferred to play in the sand.  Loving grandma that I am, I stayed out of the inviting blue water and built castles in the sand so he could kick them down.  Laughter is preferable to crying any day.

Me and my two-year-old grandson

These fears may seem irrational but we have to remember how small these tots are in this great big world.  Recently I took my daughter, her two-year-old, and her newborn to the hospital for the baby’s PKU test.  My two-year-old granddaughter has a fear of her doctor’s office across town with good reason, but when she saw the hospital she freaked out.  Changing my original plan to drop my daughter and newborn off at the door, I parked in the parking garage and we all got out to make the trek across the street to the hospital.  An attendant driving a golf cart offered us a complimentary ride to the hospital but Toddler screamed until we declined the ride and walked a good quarter mile in misty rain to the door.  Great for a newborn.  Toddler was upset the entire time we waited in the lobby for her momma.  There was no way she would have gotten on the elevator.  We tried that once before.  Irrational?  Maybe.  But it is a big scary world when you’re only two feet tall and don’t get to make your own choices.

Hubby with our two-year-old granddaughter

Even at that, it’s a toddler’s world, because their objections to our choices for them can make us reconsider in a heartbeat.  I changed my plans several times just that day.  As a grandparent, I get to do that as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.  Unlike parents, I get to leave and go home to a quiet house.  I’ve done my time.  But I would gladly do it again, and will continue to coax, coddle, and cuddle my grands for the short time they will let me.  Years tend to fly these days.

Do you have toddlers in your life?  Please share!


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?