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“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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12 Responses to Blog: I Remember

  1. jolleyontheroad jolleyontheroad says:

    Love it!!! I’m right there with you! And I am loving every minute with them! It’s even more exciting since we are buying a house nearby and I won’t have to say goodbye!! I watched them all night this week already and get them next weekend for our daughter’s anniversary!!

  2. Barbara Jennes says:

    Mary, I was laughing hysterically as I read your post. A friend of mine just had a new baby (one month old) and she has a 2 year old, too. She can barely keep her eyes opened what with breast feeding and trying to meet the needs of the 2 year old who is sooo active and chatty. I’ve been helping by making some meals to take over once a week. I know the family is grateful for any help they can get. The paternal grandmother whom I know well has committed to coming to help out once a week and she has also committed to providing care for her daughter’s yet to be born infant two days a week ( this baby is due mid September). I know she has taken on more than she can even believe- My dad always said, “Young ones are for the young” even as he and my mother happily took my boys to their home so many times for sleep overs.

    I consider myself well versed in the early child care arena; my grandchildren are now 14 and a set of 12 year old twins. I did lots of early on care at their home and sometimes driving back to my house I wondered if I would fall asleep at the wheel; I visualized toothpicks holding my eyes opened!

    I just love how you look at this situation and the new fangled child care items that are now the rule. How did our children ever survive? You need an engineering degree to figure out those car seats. I especially recall getting wet when they were the ones taking the baths.

    Hang in there, Mary, you are a blessing to the children and their parents. This intense bonding lasts as special memories for the grandchildren for many, many years. That’s what makes it so special for you and for them.

  3. Penny says:

    Wonderful blog Mary, thank you for sharing and encouraging!

  4. debbie says:

    So true–all of this! Nice thoughts to start the day with

  5. Anita Albritton says:

    What an adventure!! It really is amazing how much we forget about the daily busy-ness of little children!! Love your page, and your awesome blog!!

  6. Carolyn says:

    Love you so much, Mary! I laughed at the car seat astronaut comment the most. 🙂 You’ve always been a person who puts feet to her faith. I admire you for that. There’s no doubt the tapestry is stunning because Jesus in YOU is stunning!

  7. adakallen adakallen says:

    Ellie is now 4 years old…there are 3 more – Reagan, Callum, and Rylan! I had all 4 in my house last weekend (these are the great grands). I also had their moms AND my daughter, Vickie & her husband, Donny who just non-stop frantically moved from their house into PODS because their new house is not ready. They brought perishable food with them (didn’t have time to give to friends before they left town) to share with the family before it spoiled. I thought I would die from exhaustion. I made a comment that V & D were beyond exhaustion when one of the mom’s (30) said “and I am not tired!”. It is probably a good thing that my brain was not functioning or I would have replied “and you are not 56 (V & D) nor 76 (me)!”.

    Sorry, Mary I am learning that I am not as young as I used to be (I had 4 six and younger). I am just grateful that I have stayed active (it helps a little to combat the age).

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