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Thank you for visiting Grandma's Briefs, where I write on the good, bad, humorous and heartwarming of being a baby boomer, grandparent, parent to adult children, wife and writer. Peruse the place, leave a comment or two, and feel free to email me any time at

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    Letter to my only grandson

    Dear Bubby,

    Your little brother will soon arrive and before he gets here, I wanted to tell you how very special it has been to have you as my first grandson, my only grandchild for the past nearly three years. In the seemingly short 35 months since you were born, you have rocked my world in ways I never imagined could happen.

    Your entry into the family stretched my heart as it had never been stretched before. My heart swelled so as I held you, hugged you, swaddled you like the sweetest little burrito and kissed your downy face, a replica of your mommy’s 24 years before. That first time I left you to return home, my swollen heart burst into a million pieces at having to leave you, my arms literally ached for you for weeks after — muscle memory most raw.

    Your mommy and I did our very best to ensure my arms would hold you as often as possible despite all the miles between us. Every couple of months, I would visit your home or you would visit mine. My heart would sing and swell again as my arms held you. But each time we were together, the amount of time holding you became less as you became so much more. So much more active, so much more silly, so much more independent, so much more boy.

    The “boy” experience was a new one for me, as your mommy, Aunt B and Aunt Andie were my only babies, and baby girls are far different from baby boys … and not just when it comes to changing diapers. You were more active, more daring, more monkey-like than any of my girls. Stories from your mommy about the bruises and bangs and head-bonks you’ve endured while jumping off furniture, racing your cars around the house, playing chase with Daddy, and wrestling (and riding) Roxy made my heart swell in a different way: with panic and fear for your safety and well-being. But also with pride that your mommy, as protected as she was by me, had learned through you how to let go and let you be who you are, what you are: all boy.

    I’ve loved your rough and tumble all-boy antics. Such pleasure comes from watching you run through the house, giggle your way down slides, chase after balls and balloons and bubbles, tussle with your dog, build tower trucks, race fire trucks, wholeheartedly adore garbage trucks, and furiously peddle your bike while calling for me to "be police” and chase you.

    Part of what makes such things doubly delightful is the flip-side of those times. The sweet blown kisses and “squeezes” and “cheeses.” The moments snuggled together sharing books. The steadfast attention given to coloring, drawing, gluing, Play-Dohing, creating. The singing, dancing, smiling, sharing. Your newfound ability to joke, to compliment, and to say the truly darnedest things I've ever heard (especially when you lock yourself and Gramma out of the house).

    My great and goofy — and downright gorgeous! — grandson, you were my first. You were the one to make me a grandma, to teach me that although my heart can break into a million pieces upon leaving you, it will grow back bigger and stronger each and every time I think of you, see you, hug you, hold you, hear you.

    I am better because of you. I became “Gramma” because of you. And for that, my sweet Bubby James, you will always and forever be a most special part of this grandma’s soon-to-be-expanding-again heart.

    I love you!


    Today's question:

    When does your heart feel most swollen to capacity?

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    Reader Comments (17)

    You should put a warning at the top of this post, Lisa. Now, I need a tissue.

    My heart is swollen to capacity when I look at my little boy.

    May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPammeey

    What a sweet letter and great gift to your grandson. How he will treasure this when he's old enough to understand its significance. My heart has been stretched, too, in this delicious way by my 2 grands. Luckily, our hearts keep growing in capacity as they fill it more and more.

    May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGrandmother

    What a genuine expression of love. My heart usually overflows with the hubby, especially when he does one of those small but significant things that shows he really knows me and really cares. (When shopping for soup when I don't feel good, he checks the nutritional information for me, just like I would.)

    May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate

    When my grandchildren who were just babies last year (it feels like) are graduating from college or high school or having babies themselves; I'm grandmother to a Love Mob. My heart has swollen to cover them all!

    May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

    Such a lovely and touching post. I have one grandchild right now and your post would reflect how I would feel too.

    My heart swells whenever I see my granddaughter and especially when she excels at the things she does. Just last week she did a hula and poi ball dance at her school's talent show and was fantastic. My eyes swelled with tears and my heart with pride!

    May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie E.

    Lisa, you brought tears to my eyes with this beautiful post! You said it all when describing the feelings a first grandchild brings to a grandmother's heart and the particular joys of a little boy grandchild.

    I never thought my heart could hold as much love for my second grandson, as it did the first, but it did and I love everything that is so unique and different between both of my grandsons. Our hearts continue to grow with love each day for both little boys and I look forward to watching them become brothers with all the ups and downs of sharing toys and experiences together.

    I know you look forward to the same with Bubby and his brother when he is born.
    I'm wishing your daughter health and happiness as she awaits the big day!

    May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPat

    My first grandchild, who is a boy, graduates from high school this year. When the second grandchild came along, years ago, I thought "There's no way I can love this one as much as the first!" but I do....and the seven more who came behind. They're all special in their individuality. My heart swells with pride just at the mention of one of their names. It also breaks into a million pieces each time I think of the two little ones that we lost (would have made a total of eleven grands) - one of which I got to hold, love and pray for during the 90 minutes he was with us. I thank God for all of them! They are ALL such a blessing to me and Mac!!!

    May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAunt Darlene

    This is such a sweet letter. I hope you keep it around so Bubby can read it when he's older.

    As for your question: My heart feels swollen to capacity every time I see my son learn something new, which these days is pretty often. Both of my kids often make me feel in awe of the fact that my husband and I managed to create such amazing little things.

    May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

    My heart is swollen to capacity after reading posts like this one! Oh, what a lucky grandson to have a grandma who writes him letters, and truly appreciates the milestones in life. As the mother of a son, I truly related to what you said about boys. And as an empty nester, you have given me something to look forward to when my son marries and has a child. I can't wait to be a grandma! Thanks so much for this lovely post.

    May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCindy La Ferle

    very sweet!!!!! i am following you back via you vBoks friend request message. Hope you stop by my blog when you have time and "like" me on FB. Looking forward to sitting down and reading more of your posts!

    May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSteph

    Every time I read something like this it fills my heart with joy as do times like....when my daughters tell me they are pregnant again, my grandchildren complete a milestone, family get togethers, and i could go on and on. I think your writing letters to a grandchild is awesome. With the computers we use, we should all write and save letters to our children and grandchildren to read one day. What a wonderful way to give history of a family. Thanks for sharing and Best Wishes for a healthy new baby in your Grandmother role.

    May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlice

    How lucky Bubba is to have you for his grandma! That heartfelt letter will mean so much to him when he gets older. You've inspired me to write a special letter of appreciation to my two grandsons - even if their siblings are just a twinkle in their parents' eyes right now.

    May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGranny Nanny

    I don't tink mine has yet.

    May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDeb A

    I agree completely that this needed a Kleenex warning! I had to work today and I am so glad I didn't read this before I went to work!!!

    Swollen to capacity? When Amara says she wants to come home to Grandma's house -- because it's more fun there!

    May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGrandma Kc

    Loved this letter! As grandma to three - two grandsons and a granddaughter - I have my heart filled over-the-top each time I spend time with them, look at their pictures plastered all over my frig and my home office wall, or listen to their voices. Being "grand"ma is truly a "grand" and wonderful experience!

    ~RJ, the HOPE Coach

    May 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRJ, the HOPE Coach

    Lisa, what a lovely letter to Bubby. My heart feels fullest when Our Little Princess wraps her arms around my neck and squeezes hard and when I'm holding Baby Sister in my arms and she snuggles up real close. They're both such treasures. And when my daughter tells me how much she appreciates when I take care of both of them and let her sleep in. It really makes me feel the connection between the generations.

    May 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGrams

    That letter is so sweet Lisa! Every time I watch my kids break through a barrier the love and pride I feel overwhelm me!

    May 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTammy
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