Grandparent, hug your grandchildren every chance you get. If you live close to them, spend as much time as you can with them.
Don’t live close? Call them. Do FaceTime with them if you both have access to an iPhone. But there are other ways to chat, so no worries if you don’t have an iPhone. Have conversations often with your grandkids. They do say the cutest things.
Sometimes I wish I was a little girl again. In such moments, I miss my mom and dad and the comfort I felt from them. Now my parents are gone, and I’m having one of those moments. Am I okay with this melancholy? I don’t think so, yet somehow I find contentment in spite of it. What I’m not okay with is the finality of them being gone and not being able to see them or talk with them. It’s part of life. I know. Still not easy.
I was thinking these thoughts when lying down with my three-year-old and six-month-old granddaughters. These words suddenly popped into my mind as I observed the two of them sleeping, “We are all God’s little girls.” No matter how old I am (50+ and another + tomorrow on my birthday), I’m still His child. He cares and comforts, encourages with peace and joy, and answers prayers. He lets me be a little girl to Him. In fact, He encourages it.
“He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matthew 18:2-3 NIV)”
Rather than dwell on the sadness or digging deeper the hole of lonesomeness for Mother and Daddy, I focus on being a loving grandmother to my two little grand-girls. When I’m visiting them, here are a few ways I love them:
Make them laugh and play with them. My three-year-old and I have a thing we do, certain goofy looks. I’ll get her attention, we’ll stare at each other, then bust up laughing. It’s hilarious.
Sing to them and with them. Singing with creates a playful atmosphere. Singing to can settle fussiness.
Prepare foods they like, especially healthy fruits and vegetables – and on very special occasions, my Pecan French Toast (my toddler grand REALLY likes it and would eat way more than she should if she’s allowed).
The most recent visit has included assistance with toddler grand’s potty training. This is territory I haven’t experienced in 20-something years. Any suggestions that work? I’ll be glad to pass them along to the parents.
I’ve read about several ways that have proven successful for others: set timers for potty time, do the potty dance, go bare bottom, go potty at the same time with the toddler until it becomes a habit to her/him, etc. Then I’ve read that the training can take three days or one week. Parents and toddlers can surely become frustrated with potty training. What I have discovered is that what works for one may not work for another and a toddler may seem afraid to go in the potty.
Parents and toddlers can surely become frustrated with potty training. It’s not supposed to be a marathon. What I have discovered is that what works for one may not work for another. Who knows why some learn early and others later. No matter what the reasons, whether toddlers are afraid to go in the potty or just not want to. This, too, will pass. Eventually, they will learn.
Occasions when I’m grandparenting from a distance (way more often than I prefer), the best way of spending time with them is through FaceTime. The girls get grabby with the phone, so that is becoming a more challenging way to have grand-girl conversations. I love to mail fun surprise to them in packages. Grandparenting from a distance certainly requires creativity – and as many trips as I can make.
Loving my grand-girls brings me joy. I may not have the same energy level as they do, but I can keep up with them in one way – forever being a little girl at heart.
Daily challenges can wipe out our energy and make us feel overwhelmed. Life does that to us. So does technology – or the lack of it.
Let me give you an example of how the lack of technology is maddening. The company I have cell phone service through upgraded to LTE from 4G. Not such a terrible thing except that now my wifi won’t work with the new LTE. The good thing is that my wifi device is being replaced, free of charge (other than the $7-plus shipping). The bad thing is not being able to do my online blogging. Since the device will take a week for mail delivery, I now blog by finger typing on my cell phone vs keyboard typing.
Despite the finger-typing experiment, daily joys are helping me along this week. For instance, I came across the photo at top of my dad and daughter. The picture was taken a few years back. He is 90 and aging. I’m grateful that he knows me when we talk and that we have conversations on the phone. Forgetfulness gets in the way, stories get mixed up, but it gives me joy to get to talk to him and see him.
Talking to my daughter gives me joy. Miles apart don’t stop us from phone conversations about Bible verses, funny things, and my grand-girls. Yesterday we did FaceTime so I could see my new ‘lil grand. I loved it! When we were ending the conversation, I wanted to say ‘bye to ‘lil’s big sis who was taking her time. I told my daughter to tell her Grummy had to go. I heard her in the background, “Wait. Wait.” She came to the phone, looked at me, and said, “Grummy, do NOT go!” Joy, joy, joy made my day.