There’s nothing like being a grandparent!
Our grandson turned three a few weeks ago. THREE! Time flies even faster now than it did when our kids were little! We headed over to the other side of the state to celebrate with balloons, cake and gifts…though really our grandson was more interested in playing with the balloons than any of the gifts he opened. He was born in March 2020, and incredibly difficult time for socialization as we were only a couple of weeks into what turned out to be a global pandemic. But despite the four hour distance between our homes and the need for precautions, we still manage to see each other every 6-8 weeks. It’s not ideal, but our daughter and son in law are very happy in their town, as are we, so this is just the way it is. I remind myself that plenty of people have to take a plane to visit family, so I try to be grateful we see each other as often as we do. And we fully utilize our technology options. We speak almost every day through text, messenger or video call. We’ve been an active part of his life since day one and he has been spending occasional weekends with us since he was five months old. We look forward to those weekends so much and I know our daughter and son in law enjoy having some time to themselves too!
We also have a six year old granddaughter. She first came into our life about 3.5 years ago when her dad started dating our oldest daughter, Katie. Anyone that has met her can tell you that her smile is infectious and you can’t help but fall in love with her when you meet her. She “officially” became part of our family last fall when Katie and Michael got married, more on that in a future post. They live here in Oscoda but have shared custody so our visits aren’t as frequent as I would like with her either. I’m hoping when she is older we can do some video calls with her between visits.
Some of my favorite childhood memories are of spending time in the summers with my grandparents. They would take me blueberry picking and deer spotting. I’d help my grandpa in his garden and he taught me to play solitaire. My grandma would paint my nails, teach me how to play the organ and we’d watch her “stories”. Sometimes we’d even go up to their cabin up north and occasionally my cousins would be there too. That’s when the real fun happened! My husband also has a lot of great memories with his Grandpa, whom he called Gramps. In fact, that is what inspired us to tell the kids we’d like to go by “Gram and Gramps”.
One of the things I told our kids before they even had kids of their own, was that I hoped to have them stay with us for two weeks every summer so I could give my grandkids the same kind of memories I have, except maybe the organ-which I can no longer play! My idea was to bring ALL of the grandkids together so that they could have that time with us and their cousins, and we could make those special summer memories with them. Luckily my kids were all on board with this plan so I didn’t have to resort to begging! I have visions of exploring the AuSable River overlooks, days at the beach, mini golf, fishing, hiking in the Huron National Forest, picnics by the lake, etc. We are starting this summer and I can’t wait, though many of those visions will have to wait a few years! We may switch to two weeks at a time when they are older, but for now we are separating the weeks to one at the beginning and one at the end of the summer. “Gram” & “Gramps” may be younger grandparents, but we are exhausted at the end of a long weekend with a toddler, let alone two weeks in a row!
I love my kids with all my heart and am thankful for them every day, though there were some questionable teenage days, but it’s true what they say. The best part of being a parent is becoming a grandparent!