“Life” unexpectedly happened here recently and I now had the joy of having my two grandchildren stay with me awhile. They are 2 and 4 years old and precious to this Nana. I’ve had them before but only for 24 hours or so. Let me first say I had this crazy thought that I’d be prepared! You know the thought process…how much could it have changed? I had 4 kids under the age of 6 so I figured all would be easy! NOT! I truly had forgotten how much energy it takes to be a parent of young children. Children are nonstop for the most part, how did I forget that? They are inquisitive and ask lots of questions. They require meals three times a day and snacks in-between! We now eat “Skinny” sandwiches. They wouldn’t eat the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that I cut corner to corner so I told them they could have special “skinny” sandwiches. Same sandwich cut into 4 strips and they LOVE them. They like to explore and touch and how did I forget bath time meant I got wet too! I’ve been re-acquainted with walks in strollers pushing about 80 pounds, watching two small children in the pool (we didn’t have a pool when my kids were young) so chains and alarms were also added to our doors! You should have been a fly on the wall the first time I opened the door and forgot we now had a VERY LOUD audible alarm. You’d still be laughing. I’ve also been frequenting the public library for reading time and music time. I’ve had play dates with my friends and their grandkids! I have managed to stay away from the fast food places, as Sams had dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets which made Nana a hit. It was a laughter filled meal as we practiced biting off their heads, wings, tails or legs and sinking them into ketchup puddles! My youngest daughter came in from University and her internship for a couple days and my husband “Pop” and I decided to get up on Saturday morning and take Becca and the grandkids to Cracker Barrel Restaurant. Lots of good homemade pancakes and biscuits. It was kind of odd having car seats in my vehicle again and Becca just barely squeezed between them. And car seats, that’s another physical and brain challenge. My kids had them but not like these new ones. These are probably safer than when astronauts strap in for a launch. They must have 10 different points to strap kids in and my fingers, moving with the beginnings of arthritis, tried to rebel while clicking and attaching them all. I also forgot about diaper changing! That one I would have preferred to keep forgotten. Of course in Texas, afternoon swimming is an almost daily event. I knew it would be a great idea because we all know swimming exhausts kids and they go to bed early and sleep soundly. This one backfired a bit on me, as I found myself having trouble staying awake at 7:15 in the evening. Catching a two year old when she’s jumping in and decided her new favorite words are “One more time” was the precursor . My grandson and I must have been having a contest on who yawned the most. My usual time to go to sleep after reading is about 11-11:30 at night. I collapsed into bed recently at 9. I also realized that in order to shower I had to get up before them in the morning and get ready. 5am has been early but my hubby gets up then so it just made sense if I wanted to have a bit of quiet time before our daily adventures started again. My p2P work has been before they get up, nap time and some after they go to bed. I did squeeze in a conference call at lunchtime and wolfed down a bowl of cereal during the call. Kim graciously refused to laugh because I knew she probably heard me slurping the milk! My mind must have blanked out all these details from raising my own little people. My admiration for parents of young children is bigger than ever before. The rewards of these tiring days are unlimited hugs and kisses which are always the best part of being a Nana and priceless. We’ve had only a couple of tears but tons of smiles and laughter. I’ve had the joy of helping my granddaughter overcome her fear of the vacuum and the pool. I’ve also learned all about how to build Lego robots and towers! I’ve experienced grandbabies falling asleep in my arms and the urge to quickly put them in bed never came. I am “seasoned” enough to enjoy those moments now.What more could I ask for?
My words of encouragement/advice are for two groups; parents of little kids…hang in there. This time is short and they’ll be leaving home for school and lives of their own before you can blink twice, and you need to build community with others in the same season of life you’re in. Secondly, for people going thru unexpected events happening in their lives. Just keep putting one step in front of the other and take one day at a time. Choose joy. Savor the good times and let the tough times teach you lessons and grow you. You’ll help someone else eventually along your life’s journey who will be experiencing what you’ve already been thru and then you can become the encourager. Let friends encourage and help you. Don’t go it alone. Trust that God is weaving a tapestry and these events are but a small bit of the final masterpiece. When finished I know it will be stunning.
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