Sunday, December 20, 2009

Grandparents and Snow Boots

(Warning: clicking on "Shoe Carnival" has volume.)

I’m in Shoe Carnival, desperately seeking snow boots for my two youngest daughters. The snow is predicted to arrive within hours – six to twelve inches of it. This store is my last stop. The mad rush on boots, waterproof gloves, and snow pants by the residents of the town has already occurred. There are none; well, none that are fake-fur-lined and waterproof – not even rain boots.

As I’m foraging the aisles for an alternative, a salesperson sees me and zooms in for her “aha” moment – "another parent that I can sale fake-fur-lined 'suede' boots to, and some handy-dandy waterproofing spray!"

I buy the boots - two pairs - but not the spray; already have a can at home.

In the checkout line, a couple walks up behind me. It’s my girls’ piano teacher and her husband. She runs the studio where they’ve taken lessons for years. Jean is around sixty-five, and Dennis is a little older. We’ve become friends during the nine years I’ve known them.

One of them is holding a shoe box; the other, some miscellaneous kid stuff. The boots inside are for a grandchild. We begin the “snow discussion” about the urgent need for boots so that “our” kids will be able to play in the snow.

Yes, they consider the grandkids, “their” kids. I’ve seen Jean at their school activities, having a treat with them at Barnes and Noble, and picking them up from school; just a few of the many things they do with them, and for them.

Seeing them gives me a sentimental feeling; an appreciation for grandparents. I think of my mother, and how much she loves my children. I think about her being in another city and not having weekly contact, and I feel a little envy.

So this is a tribute to you, grandparents - those of you who do so many things for your grandkids. You baby-sit. You display their pictures on your blogs and in your homes. You feel the pain when the kids have health issues. Some of you are raising the kids.

And for those who are away from the grandkids - like my mom and step-dad - you are just as appreciated for sending the birthday cards, for talking to them on the phone, for coming to visit whenever you can, and for welcoming them any and every time they visit you. Thank you.

Many blessings to you all!

Because I had my children much later than the average age, I will be an older grandparent. My prayer is that I’m healthy and still young at heart, so that I can enjoy mine, too.

Are you a grandparent?
When you were a kid, did you have a relationship with your grandparents?

Continue to comment on my post titled, "Passion," and read what others have said.
Comment notification allows me to see all new commnets.


Abby said...

My dad's mom lived in the same town with us and was a MAJOR influence on me while I was growing up. Good grandparents are truly treasures!

Just now buying snowboots?? Glad you got some - enjoy the snow!

Unknown said...

Nope, not a grandmother per se but to a shih tzu (my daughter's) I am Grammy and to a kitty (my other daughter's) I'm also Grammy.

I spent time with my grandmother but I can't say it was pleasant. She was a very strict religious person who had rules for just about everything so when we were there, we basically sat quietly and that was it. She was from the old school of "children should be seen and not heard".

Sweet that you are able to have surrogate grandparents for the kids and also that their grandparents also reach out to them, even if from afar...they know they are loved.

Unknown said...

I am not a grandmother. Most of my youth my grandparents lived far away, but i loved visits and when my dad's mom would spend he summer with us. I only had them in my life til my teens/young adult years. I was the youngest of 4 kids. I had children later, and my parents are in their 80's now. My in-laws have sadly passed away, so my children have little influence of their grandparents.
Good luck with the snow!!

the mom said...

My grandmother is still very active, and me and the kids spend at least one week/summer with her.
She is very special to me.

My mother in law will arrive tomorrow. She lives in another country. I often tell her I'd prefer shorter visits from her, but more often, so it would be easier to get on with each other... this time she will stay for 16 days. But I will try my best.

Anonymous said...

I have two grandchildren, Hannah - just turned 2 and Nathan - almost 3 months. My heart hurts every day because I want to be close to them and be an every day grandma. They live 8 hours away and it's so, so hard. I want to cry when my daughter is having a tough parenting day and I can't be there to help or give her time to herself. It's really hard.

People Who Know Me Would Say: said...

I'm a step-grandparent to a 16 and 19 year old who live far away.

My own grown children have no children of their own and I'm just fine with that.

I had a relationship with one grandmother who was a peach...and then I was fortunate enough to have surrogate grandparents along the way. However you come by them, grandparents are a good thing!

Buckeroomama said...

I also had children "later" in life and have the same thoughts you do: that I be healthy and strong enough to be a 'cool' granny to my grandchildren, be able to do things with and for them. :)

Grandparents are fun and offer such love for the kids that only grandparents know how to give. I'm glad that my parents come visit as often as they can, even though they are a 2-hour flight away, in another country.

yonca said...

My mom and mother in law live in Turkey.We talk to them via webcam.
Technology is GREAT!

Menopausal New Mom said...

Anita, you are so right here. Grandparents are so important to children, growing up, I only met two of my grandparents, my dad's mother (could have done without her) and my mom's dad who I adored in spite of his history of being a bastard.

I'm blessed that my 3 1/2 year old has both of my parents in her life although like you, I had her late in life (45) so my parents are in their 70's now. I make sure to have as much video of her with my parents as I can so she will have a record of how wonderful her grandparents are. She also met my husbands dad once when she was 3 months old. It was the only time, he died a short time later but we have photos!

Wonderful tribute you've written!

Anita said...

HELLO EVERYONE, lots of different grandparent stories! I see that some have been important in your lives, and others...well...
I can relate - I had one grandma that tried, but just couldn't come across as the grandma type.
My other grandma lived until age 99; she died in 2006, and I adored her spunky and feisty personality.
To those of you that are able to visit and use the computer to keep in touch, that's great! I think. :)

MARLA-things never know about jobs or other circumstances that can bring you closer. :)

MENONEWMOM-DEB, I take lots of pictures of my children with their grandparents too; and video. Some day (I hope it's a long way off) they will know why.

ABBY- I guess that global warming is not happening as fast as I thought. In central VA, the snow has decreased to 1-3 inches, occuring once or twice a year, if that. In March and right now, we have been surprised with all this white stuff.
Gotta get back to the "annual" boots for the kids - at least until the feet stop growing. :)

Stephanie said...

You are so lucky to have Grandparents who are active in your kids lives. Our kids GPS love love the kids, but don't really seem to have much time to spend with them. Hubby and I have vowed to be those active over invovled Grandmas and Grandpas:)

Unknown said...

I love that photo! I wish you a very merry and festive holiday season, and good luck in the new year!

Julie Magers Soulen Photography
Blog of Note

Iva Messy said...

my grandmother passed when I was 10. I love her more than words can ever express. I have so many amazing, beautiful, completely priceless memories of my childhood because of her. She taught me so much. I cherish each moment I had with her....I miss her more then anyone can even being to imagine.

Midlife Mom said...

The Hubs and I are very hands on grandparents and love it! Our grand kids live a five minute walk away from us or a 1 minute the way they run!! We couldn't be more blessed! Their other grandparents are only 19 miles away so they are very involved too. We all love vacationing together and do so quite often.

I have been looking for boots too!!!!!! For me!!

Have a wonderful Christmas with your family!! xoxox

Hilary said...

I definitely count my blessings every time my mom and dad show up to help out and hang out. I also count my blessing that I was able to have my grandparents in my life for so long. My grandmother just came to town for Christmas and seeing her play with Mo and Co is such a treat. Have a wonderful holiday -- and when you get a chance, please drop me your address via email. I asked my DH to ask your DH, but you know how that goes!

Anita said...

MODERN MOM-I know grandparents who give lots of stuff and money to the grandkids, but who don't spend much time with them. I guess people give what they know how to give, and slack on the rest.
Like you, I hope I will want to do things with any grandkids that I may have.

JULIE, Thank you for the well wishes during this time of reflection and hopefully, renewal. :)
Glad you like the picture of the boots on the mountain of snow!

IVA, I'm sorry that you don't have your grandmother, but it touches me to hear you speak so lovingly of her. I'm glad you have the memories. I'm sure she impacted your life more than you know.

MIDLIFE MOM - What a nice set-up! I have a friend whose mother lives across the street from her and they are all like one big family.
For some, that might be too close for comfort, but it works for them, and it's working for you to be close to your grandkids. How blessed!
Thanks for the well wishes to me and my family. Christmas day is almost over and it's been a good one!

HILARY - Your grandparent siutation sounds good too. Use that camera of yours to take lots of pictures of your kids with their grandparents...and of "your" grandma too!

Nakamuras on Saipan said...

I cried reading this....I don't see my grandchildren as often as I want to. There is many times a tug of war between my X and his "wife" and I and they always seem to be the ones that win and get most of the time with the kids (I hate arguing with "her")...I miss them..and great I'm crying again...sigh...

Anita said...

NAKAMURAS, I feel for you deeply. I am a daughter of divorced parents, so I know how the tug-of-war works. I experienced some of it as a child and into my twenties, but fortunately, all involved were somewhat reasonable.

Yonca (who commented above) uses the webcam to keep in touch. Are you able to get solace from some sort of regular communication with them?

Thanks for sharing your situation with us. I hope it gets better.

Becky Jamison said...

I was 2 when my parents divorced and Grandma stepped in to take care of me and my twin brother. She was wonderful and easily showed her love. Now I'm a Grandma to 16 (most are step-grandchildren, but I can't remember which ones) and draw on my Grandmother's example of how to be a good Grandma. I've succeeded, according to my grandkids! I enjoyed your post!

Lilibeth said...

I'm a grand-parent to two, (my oldest daughter and her husband's children,)but still very much a parent to my other two unmarried "children" (isn't there a better word than offspring?). They are 23 and 25. Their problems still consume a good bit of my time, but at least they are out of diapers... sports exams...and trying to launch their own independent lives. When do you stop loving them so fiercely?

Michelle Schraudner said...

I absolutely adore my grandparents, one of my favorite memories is making cookies with my Granny.

Hilary said...

A lovely sentiment. My mother lived long enough to know her four grandchildren (ages 6, 4, 18 months and 8 months at the time of her death) but my father passed away before my sister and I started having our kidlets. I feel that pang every time I see multi-generational families celebrating together. Each pair of kids had their other set of grandparents growing up so they certainly weren't deprived of that relationship. My son's ages and circumstances dictate that it will be a while before I can be grandma, so I get my baby fix from others' wee ones. Thanks for a thoughtful post. :)

Anita said...

Thanks for adding your stories to the others. When I wrote the post, I had no idea how touched I would be to hear how everyone feels about being a grandparent or being a grandchild or the relationships your children have or had with your parents. All of you treasure your relationships and, I'm sure, others treasure you.