Unabashed delight

one of my favorite pics: baby MJ and big brother A .. taken Spring 2010

Grandchildren fill a space in your heart that you never knew was empty.  It’s true.

Being with them is like getting a time travelers ticket back to our boys being little; days of juice boxes, fruit snacks, Legos, Ninja Turtles and trains. Days of Play-doh, fort building and battles with light sabers.  It puts me right in there with “couch beds,” cinnamon toast, sleepovers and marveling at a simple flashlight’s ability to elicit hours of giggles.

Unlike when our boys were tiny, I am not as harried now.  Yes, I still work full-time and maintain our home but today … when the grand babes are with me ….  I completely roll in their being.  Laundry sits and supper waits.  I indulge in conversations, taking note of dimpled hands and how our grandson’s cowlicks swirl up in the back of his hair.  When I coax a smile and a giggle out of wee MJ, I grin like a drunken fool.  When either reaches their arms up to me, I melt and I give in, every time.

I love to let them “help” me water the flowers (and each other), brush the dog, and cook.  They like to measure and stir and, most of all, taste.  I enjoy answering questions, explaining things, and reading to them. Cuddling up on the couch together, and singing along to a favorite theme song, is some of the most cozy time I know.

baby MJ, giggling with her Daddy on my birthday. And that's my bracelet she's got!

I often reflect on who they’ll be one day and if they’ll remember me as fondly as I do my Grandmothers.  I’m lucky for I had two; two that couldn’t be more different.

There was Grandma F, who lived in the big farmhouse less than a mile away.  She, maker of cake donuts, fry-pan burgers, “Aunt Mary’s” cookies and the world’s softest lefse.  She graciously welcomed company and didn’t hesitate to invite me in, sweaty and smelling of horses, to stay for a “bit of” lunch, tea and treats with her and Grandpa.  Grandma was pretty and feminine, shapely and modest. It is from her that I developed not just my love of cooking but an ardent appreciation for … jewelry; over the years, I admired her pendants, brooches and bracelets.  I saw her transform from housewife to “dressy” Grandma and I wanted to emulate her. Lucky me, a few were passed on and yes I wear them.

A. with Frankie, the old dog.

Then there was Nana M, sleek and elegant; Nana wore pantsuits and turtlenecks, got her hair “done” and looked like a movie star.  She favored fragrances like “White Shoulders,”  and “Elizabeth Arden.”  Nana did things like floor workouts and stretches, stuff I’d never seen a Grandmother do;  she was slender and sophisticated, smart and beautiful and died from cancer when I was 9. Her passing marked the first time I ever saw my mother cry.

So every time I am greeted by the eager, excited faces of our grandchildren, I am reminded at how quickly dimples depart those tiny hands, and how swiftly children grow.  It won’t be long before they will be way too cool to hang out with Nana. But here’s the rub … I’m smarter than that. This ole fox has it all figured out:   I am treasuring and savoring every minute and I am … making my mark.

I only have to look at our own two boys filling the doorways to know how quickly it all flies past us.

“Few things are more delightful than grandchildren fighting over your lap.” -Doug Larson

Categories: Attitude, Family, Food, Fun, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery | Tags: , | 23 Comments

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23 thoughts on “Unabashed delight

  1. Wonderful post!!! I smiled when I read about the Ninja Turtles – brought back memories of Marshall as a little boy!
    Time does fly by too quickly. I can just tell that you’re soaking up every single second you spend with your grandchildren. And I’m sure they’ll remember you with love.
    (Loved reading about your grandmothers, too!)

    • I found some old Ninja Turtles that were still in good shape at a garage sale – you’d have thought I hit the motherload! Funny how things come back ’round again isn’t it? I loved and played with our boys when they were little but now I understand how quickly it passes and am determined to slow it down a bit and be in the moment as much as possible. And my Grandmothers? They were great; couldn’t be more different but they both had their influence on me, that’s for sure.
      Thanks for your comments, Dianna … MJ

  2. Heartfelt.

  3. Beautiful grandbabies you have there. :0)

  4. Beautiful, happy faces. You are so lucky to have “one of each.” You have much to give and there’s no doubt in my mind you are “leaving your mark”. Loved reading about your two very different grandmothers. Your family must thank you for creating this memoir.

    • Indeed I am; lucky that is. My Grandmothers were both great, wonderful ladies, in their own ways. They were powerful, capable and shaped our families still … I wish I had known Nana Jean longer (that’s my middle name, for I’m named for her) but that’s not the cards we were dealt. Grandma F. lived into her 90s and was married to my Grandpa for over 70 years. Each holds a special place in my heart; If I can impart half of the love & acceptance they gave me onto my grandchildren, I will be one happy girl.

      Cheers! MJ

  5. As I watch my two grow – I can ‘see’ them as adults. Makes me want to snuggle with them longer and longer, milking every opportunity I get.
    Glad you have your grandkids to enjoy, MJ. Milk it! 🙂

    • Absolutely … those moments are sweet and fleeting and the only real regrets I have in life are the times I might not have been as fully in the moment as I could have been with them. I know better now. MJ

  6. You’ve taken me back to my own Grandmothers’ kitchens and playing in the perfume and nail polish. Yours set a good example that you are surely following. I’m not a grandma yet, but someday…

  7. What a marvelous post. Brought tears to my eyes. I have two handsome grandsons…one almost grown and the other on his way. I live so far away from both. I missed so much of the time that was important.

    • Awww … well I will say this .. it’s never too late. It’s only too late when we’re gone; set up time to get together and get to know each other… it might be the best time you’ve ever spent! Cheers, MJ

  8. I love this post some day…I also hope that my grandchildren will remember me as fondly as I do my grandmas! My granddaughter Elise is lucky: she has three grandmas!

  9. Sorry…multitasking: the “…” should be before “some day.”

    Wendy

  10. How lovely, both your descriptions of your grandchildren and your memories of your grandmothers! You’ve been fortunate to have good relationships to book-end your life, and best of all, to treasure them in the moment.
    I too want to enjoy time with our granddaughter. Little Riley is not quite at the stage yet to “help” but I’m eager to begin to know her and to bond. We’ve been in and out a bit with her, but not enough that she really knows us yet. Looking forward to changing that as soon as the house sells!

    Sheila

    • Absolutely … I’ve had great teachers, too. 🙂 It will be fun for you to have that time with her … so much to look forward to, Cheers! MJ

  11. Wonderful post! Another great thing about grandchildren is that you receive endless, unconditional love from them.

  12. Pingback: ABCs – easy as 1-2-3 | Emjayandthem's Blog

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