Our eldest grandson turns six tomorrow, August 10. Happy Birthday Sam!
One day Sam, you will understand how you helped turn our “world” into one filled with magic and wonder. You weren’t the first to do that however. Your uncle Nick and your Mom were, but they weren’t as perfect as you! Perfection is reserved only for GRANDCHILDREN.
“Being a grandmother is our last chance to act like a kid without being accused of being in our second childhood.” – Janet Lanese
My current life is filled with proof of the above quote. The bird on my head in the photo below is just the tip of the iceberg. Thanks to you Sam, I have photos of me playing in the dirt, climbing on a playscape, and hiking up a slippery hill with the hope that I land on my feet instead of on my rear end.
Then there are the times we spend together where every piece of art equipment in the house is used to create a joint masterpiece. Let’s face it: you can never have too many art supplies!
Finally the magic of baking. You on the stool and me trying hard not to sample too many goodies. The clean up was always interesting. It appears that you cook just like our master chef – Grandpa. Always focusing on the creative part, not so much on the aftermath….
Very soon we’ll be eating cake, singing happy birthday, and generally celebrating your big day.
With any luck my “elephant memory” will hang on to your special day to relive the magic again and again.
I have always known that little things matter. Recently I’ve remembered that the little things often ARE the big things.
After a week spent vacationing in the Whalen House in Grand Haven MI, my mind replays lovely memories. There were gorgeous sunsets, incredible views of Lake Michigan, and the red light-house just across the road from our rented cottage. All glorious, ostensibly big things.
But what stands out two weeks later?
- Watching my eldest and his wife make soap bubbles with their nephews.
- Seeing the delight on my daughter’s face after she returns from geocaching with her boys.
- Sitting in the sand with my extended family, visiting while watching the grand kids build sand castles.
- Watching the love of my life, Steve, grill for the billionth time for his family (sometimes “mad skills” mean lots of work…)
- Photographing little items that might be fun to paint, like the tea cup covered with clover decorations that I discovered in the living room. It will please the Irish in my family so much!
- Visiting over wine and pie in the “man cave”, a little hut outside the main cottage.
Most of the things listed could happen anywhere. Often business encroaches on the important “little things”. Today I remind myself again to do better: listen more, send more notes, respond to emails more quickly, etc., because the little things really are the BIG things.
It’s been a bit more than a month since I turned 59. As I consider my own transitions I’m also struck by those of my grandchildren. Sam (5 years 9 months) is in his last week of Kindergarten. We recently attended a show where he performed a Spanish dance with the entire class of Maxwell Elementary. The children were in costume and paired up. Sam looked so grown up! It seems like just seconds since his birth made me a Grandma. He and his 2 1/2 year old brother Gabriel have filled my heart. They are more incredible than I could have imagined, and I have quite an imagination!
Sam teaches me about technology. At age 2 he Skyped us early one morning from his bed, all by himself, using his mom’s iPad. I myself didn’t know how to Skype without the help of my fellow grandparent (an engineer). At age 3 1/2 Sam pointed out to me that my Nook could actually make sounds if you turned the volume up. I didn’t know it had a volume control……
Sam as a Baby
Sam at 2
Sam and I teach each other. He learns about nature from me as we go on long walks. We often make no-bake cookies together, and he says he’s lucky to have a grandma who’s an artist. We’ve made many art “masterpieces” together. Collaboration is a key word for us. Here is some of Sam’s work in crayon and marker:
Crayon art patterns by my 5 year old grandson
Marker art patterns by my 5 year old grandson
Clearly the best transition during my 50’s is the one involving grand kids!