We're adding a new series just for grands. And we've recruited an expert writer--my mom! Once a month, she'll share words of wisdom and joy with the Momtrends community.
According to the calendar, September 12, 2010 was Grandparents' Day...not true...any day I have an opportunity to interact with one of my four "grands" is GD for me.
Some of the times, like birthday parties, are put on the schedule well in advance; others, like 911 babysitting requests, have me turning on the Subaru's emergency flashers as I race down the highway. So far (thank you God), they all seem as happy to see me as I am to see them. I don't know what kind of memories they will take away from our times together but mine are many and treasured.
This is How We Roll
We're a (mostly) no tv and no battery toys grandparent household...we want to encourage imagination and conversation--time to know what's going on in the grandchild's world.
It took us a loooong time to become grandparents, but it has been worth the wait, and patience is a good thing to learn and master when you have grandchildren. It took most of the summer to be "cannonballed" by a no longer hesitant and frightened 5 1/2 y.o. boy as he now loudly, gleefully, and confidently jumps to me off the side of the pool while his 3 1/2 y.o. brother drowns us with a giant water squirter. Who wouldn't love the sounds of "gram watch this ginormous splash"?
Our times together are spent in a variety of ways. Sometimes planned and sometimes spontaneous. For instance, a trip to the hardware store for some basic tools turned into an hour-long adventure. My 5 y.o. granddaughter and I picked out flower bulbs, sprinkling cans, and garden gloves. Each purchase involved a lot of discussion and decision making.
Small Moments are Magic
A recent visit centered around planting. I'm an avid and experienced gardener. But I go at a different pace with my grands. It took two days to plant two dozen gladiola bulbs. My granddaughters wanted to dig and plant and pat dirt and look at the worms that come out and clean off the "sparkle" rocks we dig up and water and mark where the flowers will come out of the ground (so they don't get mowed or pulled as weeds by accident). Every action was a careful study and I was happy to play along. Now with a few states separating the plants and grandchildren from me, I relish my phone conversations about how the plants are doing. Seeing a 5 y.o. arrive for a visit clutching a somewhat wilted flower so she can share with "gram" the final result of what we planted together back in the spring--that's something I won't soon forget.
Requirements for grandparenting--
1. Grandchildren: Don't worry if they aren't biological, it's all about the love.
2. Flexibility: Both physical and mental--you spend a great deal of time on the floor to make yourself their size so you can see the world from their point of view and you've always got to be thinking one step ahead of the little people anticipating the "what ifs".
3. Time: For fun and silliness and for quiet and serious
4. Patience: Everything will probably take longer than planned and almost certainly will take longer than any set of directions estimates.
5. Humor: You will once again hear "it was an accident" "not me" "well, he/she told me to do it"
6. Tolerance: For parents rules regarding children (apparently they forgot that you raised them and they appear to have turned out ok)
7. "boo boo bunny" icepacks and Snoopy bandaids: Better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them) sometimes a hug and a kiss isn't quite enough to make an "owie" better
Your turn to tell what you'd put on the "required" list.
Thanks to Marcia Feliciano, grammy extraordinaire, for this first post of the series. Marcia is based in Annapolis, MD and is a exceptional real estate agent and highly sought after babysitter to her four grandchildren. Momtrends was not paid for this post (unless you count hugs).