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    « Introducing Grilled Grandma Carmen | Main | Counting sticks »
    Tuesday
    Feb072012

    Savor the moments

    Jim and I had three daughters in a short period of time. There are 16 months between the oldest and the middle daughters, 19 months between the middle and the youngest. Which means, obviously, our daughters are very close in age. In fact, for one month out of each year—roughly mid July to mid August—the girls' ages are consecutive.

    Which also means, obviously, I was one very busy mama while raising them. I felt hurried and harried much of the time, and I rarely stopped to savor the sweetest and simplest of moments with my three girls, from their toddler to their teen years.

    I'm trying to not make the same mistake as a grandma.

    Things are pretty clear cut with Baby Mac because as an eight-month-old, what he wants, he pretty much needs...and gets. With three-and-a-half-year-old Bubby, though, it's different. His needs are met; his wants are up for negotiation. That's where my tack as a grandmother differs from the tack I took as a mother. When Bubby requests my participation, my attention, I do my best to stop the busy work and savor the moment. As long as his requests are reasonable, that is. And most reasonable he proved to be during my recent visit to the desert.

    For example, "Gramma, can you play train with me?" was a reasonable request. So, despite not being one for typically enjoying sitting on the floor—and Baby Mac needing some attention, too—I busied Mac with some blocks, plopped down next to Bubby, and followed his lead of "You be Henry, Gramma, and I'll be Thomas." Moment savored.

    Another instance: Bubby's bedtime routine typically features one bedtime story read. One night we finished the chosen book, and I stood from his bed to tuck him in, kiss him goodnight, and head out the door. "Can we please read this one, too?" Bubby pleaded, holding up a book. "It's soooo funny!" So I did, all the while savoring his snickers at "There Was A Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow," savoring his sense of humor, savoring the moment.

    When Bubby asked, "Gramma, can we build a fort?" I didn't hem and haw about the mess it would make. Instead, Bubby and I together built the fort to beat all forts, with tunnels and secret passages and cardboard boxes blocking out the light. Moment savored...and video captured of Bubby and Baby Mac savoring the fort again and again and again, with giggles galore as they chased one another through tunnels and more.

    At snack time, Bubby wanted his snack in the fort. At naptime, he wanted the bedtime story read—to both him and Baby Mac—in the fort. Both requests filled. Easily. Both moments savored. Surely.

    At the park, Bubby asked if I'd climb up the play structure and "play pirate" with him. Baby Mac slept in his stroller, within viewing distance, of course, as Bubby and I climbed and slid and shouted "Look out, Captain! They're after us!" again and again. Moment savored.

    Most mornings of my visit, Bubby woke me with a gentle nudge on my knee—except for the first morning when he slammed open my bedroom door and shouted, "GRAMMA! It's morning time!" (My freakout at his announcement led to knee nudges going forward, I'm sure.) One day when I woke before him, Bubby watched me from the open bathroom door and said, "Gramma, after you're done brushing your teeth, will you start your day with me?" Request easily filled as that was my intent anyway. The sweet moment of his request, though, especially savored.

    Requests of "Will you jump with me, Gramma?" brought leaps and bounds of joy each and every time we giggled and wiggled and waggled about on the trampoline—which was pretty much each and every time Bubby asked me to do so. And my request to him one night to lie quietly on the trampoline and look at the stars together was enthusiastically met with a resounding "Yes!" That grandson of mine, he truly gives as good as he gets. Moments savored—by both of us.

    One of Bubby's favorite cartoons is Olivia, which begins with the inflation of a pirate ship bouncy house. Once, a discussion of bouncy houses ensued after the program began, and Bubby gushed about the most awesome of parties he was scheduled to soon attend. "It's gonna be so cool! There's gonna be a bouncy house and pizza!" he raved. "Do you want to come, Gramma? Maybe you can ask PawDad if you can come!"

    This was one of Bubby's few unreasonable requests. Not because I wouldn't be in town at the time of the party or because I'm sure the guest of honor wasn't expecting grandmas to join in. No, I thought it unreasonable—and, more so, surprising—that Bubby naturally assumed I had to ask PawDad's permission to go to the party. My I-am-woman-hear-me-roar sensibilities wanted me to explain to Bubby that I don't need PawDad's permission to go to the party, that I didn't need his permission to do anything. Women, I considered telling my grandson, don't need permission from a man to do anything—we can do anything we choose.

    What I chose to do, though, was to not tell Bubby those things. There's plenty of time for him to learn such lessons—and woefully little time that a precious boy earnestly and enthusiastically extends to his grandma invitations to birthday parties with pizza and bouncy houses.

    What I chose to do was savor that fleeting moment instead.

    Today's fill-in-the-blank:

    A moment I recently savored with my grandchildren or children was ___________.

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    Reader Comments (17)

    We've had a lot of flu going around our house for three weeks. I hate it. However, one thing I have always noticed as a mom is that a sick kid often leads to many of these moments you are describing above. Guilt for enjoying a sick kid aside - I try to savor those moments. A week or so ago, I was driving my one healthy kid to school, just the two of us in the car. My 14 year old reached out and held my hand, all the way to school.
    Sorry to the sickos, but I was thanking God for that unrequested touch from my teen all day.

    February 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteramy hollis

    Isn't it funny how it takes grandchildren to get us to slow down and savor the moments? I usually stop everything to play trains or go to the park.

    February 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermegryansmom

    Oh my, it sounds like you had the best time! I think Bubby enjoyed himself too!

    February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTammy

    It sounds like you had so much fun. Snacks in a fort! I want you to be my grandma. :)

    February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate

    A moment I recently savored with Amara was this weekend when the 2 of us built our river from aluminum foil as you had suggested in one of your earlier posts. Keep in mind it was 75 degrees out! She thought this was awesome and I told her I had learned about it from Grandma Lisa! When she is here most everything that isn't mission critical gets put aside so that we can just enjoy her.

    February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGrandma Kc

    Grandma Kc: I love to hear that! I wasn't able to do the aluminum foil river with Bubby as there's absolutely NO incline to their yard and I worried the water wouldn't flow for a proper river. I'm happy to know Amara had a good time with it!

    February 7, 2012 | Registered CommenterLisa Carpenter

    Oh, so true! I can't seem to resist my Granddaughter when asked, "Nonnie, will you play 'wit' me?"...yep, you betcha I will!

    I've savored so much recently I'm not sure where to begin. She's made me a princess, an evil stepmother, Daphne (Scooby-Doo), a monster, ice cream truck customer, Play Doh baker, etc!

    Glad to see there's another Helen Reddy fan out there. I bite my tongue every time I'm asked to play 'Princesses going to a ball' and I have to wait around for the Prince to kiss us...and save us from the evil queen. Can I start working it in just a teeeensy bit since she's going to school soon...maybe we'll need to save the Prince next time?

    February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNonnie Kelly

    You younger grandmas are so RIGHT to spend every minute possible building memories with your grandchildren because, when you get to be the GREAT-grandmother that I've been for years, you will need those moments to savor.
    I wish I had more of them myself.

    February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

    I love this post, one of your best! Except the part about asking "permission", we all know who wears the pants in the family, and I won't forget it. :-)

    February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJim

    Right now I am making myself savor each and every second I hold my incredibly snuggly 5 day old in my arms.

    February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChar

    At the risk of sounding sappy (actually revealing my sappiness), I have to say I savor almost every single moment with Milo. And I'm not exaggerating.

    February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPammeey

    Your pictures are precious. I love all of them! Thanks for sharing, Lisa. Unfortunately I haven't seen my grandsons in some time. I'm hoping to have a "moment" soon, though!

    February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTerri Sonoda

    that is an important thing to do--savor the moments. Today my littlest (1 yr. old) tried to open a banana by himself--too cute and oh so funny, especially his face expressions. But I also enjoyed the moment because I was watching my daughters face as she savored the moment with her son. The three of us together--priceless.

    February 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkaye

    Great post! I'm so lucky to have many moments to savor every day. Today ViMae crawled into bed with me to cuddle before I got up; Augie summoned me to play doctor; we built a cardboard castle, and made craft projects from the Big Busy Box. Now I'm going to take a nap...another moment to savor!

    February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBLissed-Out Grandma

    I'm still savoring a cold and rainy Saturday afternoon spent at the Butterfly Center with both of our girls. It also made my day (and my husband's) when Our Little Princess asked for Pop-pop's special pancakes on Saturday morning.

    February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGrams

    This is the crux of the matter for me...the hardest part of being a gramma to me...taking the time while they are with me to enjoy them instead of doing "all the things that need to be done" because they will wait till later and the grandbabies won't! Excellent story and you are a fabulous writer!

    February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathy Hobson

    Three of my grandchildren have been with me for a couple of weeks, so I've been privileged to savor a different type of experience with them--waking them up in the mornings, making them cinnamon toast for breakfast, driving them to school, helping with homework, taking them for haircuts. I've enjoyed it immensely.

    February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Adcox
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