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