So much to say

So much to say

When I was growing up, my mom and I didn’t talk much. At least not about big things, important matters mothers and daughters should discuss. No talks about girl things, God things, goals, dreams, birds, bees, boys.

The reason our communication focused only on surface stuff is debatable. My introversion? Mom’s aversion to uncomfortable truths? Her (justified) preoccupation with raising seven kids mostly on her own?

Whatever the reason, I promised myself…

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Long-distance grandsons: The 2018 highlight reel of our times together

Long-distance grandsons: The 2018 highlight reel of our times together

When grandparents and grandchildren live miles apart—815 miles it is for Brayden, Camden, Declan, and myself—every moment shared is one to be treasured.

Here, the highlight reel of our times together in 2018, including more from the birthday visit to the North Pole with the Colorado clan:

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Baby faces

Baby faces

Jim and I babysat Benjamin last week while Brianna and Patrick went to Patrick’s company Christmas party. Being on the cusp of two months old at the time, there’s not a whole lot that Benjamin does, as far as playing with Gramma and PawDad.

He does, though, provide plenty of facial expressions, which I just can’t get enough of.

To wit:

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Welcome, Benjamin! Plus, GRAND Social No. 325 link party for grandparents

Welcome, Benjamin! Plus, GRAND Social No. 325 link party for grandparents

Welcome, Benjamin!

My long-awaited (local) grandson has arrived! Last Wednesday, in fact. As his entry into the world—and Mama Brianna’s arms—didn’t go quite as planned, I’ve followed Brianna’s and Patrick’s lead in delaying celebratory announcements online and otherwise.

Jim and I did get to meet the amazing bundle of joy while word was still under wraps, though. (A true perk of being local grandparents for the first time!)

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Suddenly he's SIX!

Today my middle grandson, Camden — whom you may know as Mac — turns six years old. Six. Years. Old. Today!

Happy sixth birthday to my crazy Cam!

Cam who giggles and jokes and feels all his feels, from the best to the worst, more deeply — more dramatically! — than most.

six year old and pool noodle

Cam the budding artist...

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Wherein Facebook eases Grandma's eyes

I haven't seen my grandsons in two months and nine days, give or take an hour or two.

I miss the goofballs, to say the least.

With no visits currently on the calendar — neither them to my place nor me to theirs — a social media share such as this one that Megan posted yesterday on Facebook is a...

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Muggin' it up

My grandsons get plenty of goodies from the Easter Bunny at their house at Easter time, so I didn't dare attempt competing with Mr. EB when considering what to send Bubby, Mac, and Jak for the holiday. I had to send them something, though, as a simple token of love from Gramma and PawDad on special occasions is a must.

So I sent them silly little mugs with straws in the handles from the dollar store, filled with enough sour worms, sour jelly beans, and other soury sweetness to last them a week or so.

Or an afternoon. Depending.

I thought the boys would appreciate the unusual mugs labeled with their names... and the sour candy. The pics Megan...

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Bringing out the best

I have been married a long time. With more than 30 years under our shared belt, my husband and I have seen the best of times, the worst of times, the best in each other, and the worst in each other.

I must admit—as anyone who has been in a long-term relationship might—that not only has my better half seen me at my worst, he's occasionally been the one to bring out the worst in me.

Not a pretty thing to admit about the man I've promised to love until my dying breath, I know.

My husband's not alone, though. My daughters have done a pretty good job of bringing out the worst in me over the years, too. If you have kids, and especially if you have gone through or are in the throes of the teen years, you know darn well how very bad the "worst" in a mom can be.

Regardless, I still love my husband and my daughters. Unquestionably, unconditionally. I hope they feel the same about me despite that worst part of me they've coaxed to the surface now and again. There's something comforting in knowing I can show my very worst side to the ones I love without fear of abandonment.

There's something equally comforting, though, in knowing there are a few souls to whom I don't show that unsavory side, the loved ones who bring out not the worst but the very best in me.

I'm talking, of course, about my grandsons.

My grandsons have magical powers, I believe, for when I'm with them, I am my best, I do my best.

When I'm with my grandsons, I don't demand they be on my time as I'm wont to do with anyone—with everyone—else. No, we move on their time, live by their schedule. 

When I'm with my grandsons, I laugh more, sing more, dance more.

And I swear far less, for reasons needing no explanation.

When I'm with my grandsons, I look on the bright side more often than not. Perhaps that's because all things are indeed brighter when we're together, regardless of the side one may look at.

When I'm with my grandsons, I cook more often, and usually without complaining—even if they complain about what I've set before them, as finicky kiddos often do.

When I'm with my grandsons, I do more crafting and more creating.

I do more reading, too—albeit from books with far more pictures than those I typically read on my own.

When I'm with my grandsons, I do more hugging of little bodies and kissing of little heads.

And I don't sigh heavily or act like they're silly when they say they have owies here or there on those little bodies and little heads. Which is a far different response than when hearing the same from those with big bodies. Not a sympathetic nursemaid am I—except when I'm with my grandsons.

When I'm with my grandsons, I move more, sit less. I listen more, preach less. And I model using manners more in hopes of having to point out one's lack of manners less.

As I stop and look back at what I've written above, I see it's a rather lengthy list of ways my grandsons bring out my best. And as I consider it, I realize this: I should show the same face, have the same demeanor with others. Whether it's my husband, my daughters, distressing relatives, frustrating strangers. I should be my best with all, not just reserve the best of myself for the privileged two.

So I'll try. I'll try to be my best with and for my husband, my daughters, the world at large. I will do that, I will model that, for my grandsons.

In the end it's just one more way my grandsons bring out my best—or at least the hope and intention of me being exactly that.

Today's question:

Who brings out the best in you?

Just like Grandma?

The last time I visited my grandsons, Bubby asked if he could try on my glasses and go into the bathroom to see how he looks.

It was only after sliding the glasses down onto the end of his nose that Bubby decided he did indeed look just like Gramma.

Today's fill-in-the-blank:

One way I'm just like my grandma is ____________________.