Tag Archives: grandparenthood

Happy Trails, Part 130: Reaping the reward

Grandparents who read this blog will know what I’m talking about, but some of them might be likely to say, “So what’s the big deal?”

You’ve known for some time that my wife and I relocated from the Texas Panhandle to the Metroplex essentially for a single reason: We want to live near our granddaughter, who’s now 5. We want to be a significant part of her life.

Today we reaped part of that reward. Yeah, I know it’s not a huge deal to grandparents who’ve had countless exposures to this kind of joy. It’s still fairly new to us. So, I want to take just a moment to share it here.

We took Emma to a children’s fair at the Fairview Town Center. They had rides, various exhibits and activities for children. It was inexpensive. The weather was lovely. Emma had spent the night with us, so we walked with her this morning to an event we were told had been planned for Halloween, but the weather rained them out.

Emma got her face painted; she played with animals at the petting zoo; she rode a pony; she got to climb one of those bouncy-house contraptions and then slide down the other side.

She couldn’t get enough of it.

This event today reminded my wife (Grandma) and me of the wisdom of our move from way up yonder to this community. It is to bond more tightly with our precious little one.

We are acutely aware she won’t stay this age for long; we did rear two sons into adulthood, so we’ve been through the rapid-rate time travel associated with watching children grow into adulthood. We just felt the urge some time ago to get here and enjoy as many experiences like this as we can.

Time surely will bring changes to all of us … eventually. For now and for as long as is humanly possible, we are going for the grandparenthood gusto.

Time has this way of flying by

It wasn’t so long ago that I would snicker and tease my friends who were young parents.

“Oh, my baby is just growing up so fast. It seems like yesterday that he (or she) was born,” they would say. I’d ask: “And how old is your baby now?” The answer: “Oh, my baby is turning a year old.”

My response often would be something like this: “Talk to me in 20 or 30 years and then we can discuss how ‘time flies.'”

That was then. I noted nearly four years ago about how our precious granddaughter was getting ready to celebrate her first birthday.

First birthdays are the most important

Emma Nicole is about to turn — and I am gulping as I type these couple of words — 5 years of age.

These days I no longer snicker at my young-parent friends. I feel their angst, their anxiety, at times their frustration.

Time is scampering away from us. I remember the day Emma came into our lives quite vividly, just as I remember when our sons arrived, too; that was more than four decades ago.

You’ve read on this blog how much we have enjoyed grandparenthood, even though Emma lives some distance from us — for the time being. We’re in the process of shortening that distance dramatically. We hope that day arrives much sooner rather than later.

As we move along with the rest of our life together, my wife and I are preparing for the next big challenge. It will be likely our final relocation. Then we’ll be able to enjoy the full fruits of grandparenthood.

Oh, brother. The time does have this habit of getting away from us.

You think you ‘know’ someone …

I have been watching and listening to Leslie Stahl for decades. The CBS News correspondent has filled me with information about the nation and the world.

She’s a regular on “60 Minutes,” where she explores in greater detail the issues of the day and the people who shape them.

You think you know someone in that venue. Then that someone reveals a totally other side. You get smacked in the face with something you’ve known all along, that these news “celebrities” are more than images on a TV screen.

Stahl writes about the joys of grandparenthood. She is speaking directly to me and to my wife.

Here’s the essay she wrote for the Sunday New York Times. Just click on the first three words of the preceding sentence.

Oh, how I relate to all she said.

Stahl, though, has an advantage over my wife and me. She gets to see her grandbaby regularly. I’m going to presume her grandchild lives nearby. We aren’t yet at that stage of grandparenting. Our precious little one lives some distance away from us, so we don’t see her nearly as often as we want.

However, that will change in due course — if you get my drift.

Stahl’s essay touches on so many aspects of grandparenthood to which we are looking so forward to enjoying. I said earlier that Stahl speaks directly to me; I won’t presume to speak for my wife, as she hasn’t seen Stahl’s essay yet. It’s kind of like the way the film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” spoke to me. The family depicted in the film didn’t resemble my old-country Greek family members precisely. But there was enough symbolic resemblance to laugh hysterically at them in the film.

Stahl notes in her essay how some grandparents don’t want to be called “Grandpa” or “Grandma.” They somehow refuse to acknowledge the obvious, which is that they are aging. Stahl writes: “Given the intensity of grandparent love, I’ve been surprised by how many people cringe at the idea of being identified as a granny or a gramps. There’s fear of a stigma, a penalty to being seen as ‘that old.’”

My own view? Bring it on!

As Stahl writes: “When we grandparents are in the lives of the children, they get adoring, unconditional love, the parents get free child care, and we, the grannies and pops, rather than getting older, feel younger, healthier and happier. Everyone wins.”

Boy, howdy!

Granddaughter: how sweet the sound of the word

Emma 2014 Halloween

We got into the car this morning to run a couple of errands.

As we pulled out of the driveway, I turned to my wife and told her how excited I was about the next time we’d see our granddaughter. She agreed, naturally. Duh?

Then I reminded her of a couple of things: One was how when she and I were newly married we got a major kick out of referring to each other as “husband” and “wife.” I guess it’s common for newlyweds to do such things. We giggled at the sound of the words when we were so very young.

Well, you know what? Two years and four months into grandparenthood, we’re still giggling at the sound of “grandma” and “grandpa” and, oh yes, “granddaughter.” I reminded my wife of that as well.

Little Emma Nicole has turned us into mush.

OK, no surprise at that, correct? Every grandparent we’ve met along our long journey together has told us essentially the same thing: Your grandchild will change your life. You’ll become someone you don’t recognize. He or she will wrap you around every little finger of his or her hand … repeatedly, and then even some more after that.

I’m now able to proclaim that Emma has done that. In spades.

My sister, who’s got a bunch of grandkids — and great-grandkids — has told me time and again about the impact that this next generation of children brings with them.

It’s beyond explanation.

I keep wishing for the impossible at this stage, which is: How do we keep Emma this age, this adorable, this precious?

I don’t really and truly want that to happen, given that I know it won’t. My strong hunch is that she’ll become even more adorable and more precious.

Meantime, I never intend to lose touch with how good it feels to say — and hear — the words “our granddaughter.”