My Grandma and babyWhen you look at your babies, you can't help but think about what lies ahead for them: first birthdays and Saturday soccer games, high school graduation, their wedding day. So, just imagine being 95-years-old and meeting your great-grandchildren for the very first time, actually living long enough to see your baby's baby have a couple of babies of his own. Mind-blowing, right?
Over the holidays, while we were in NY, my babies met my husband's grandmother, and charmed her with their mischievous little smiles. They already spend several hours a week with their great-grandma here in LA, and here they were, in the arms of yet another great grandparent. Man, oh man, how lucky we are.
Twice a week, we see my 87-year-old Grandma, whether she makes the drive out here to "help my mom babysit" or I bring them to her apartment where they kick around on a blanket on her floor. She sings them made-up songs, she hobbles over with her bad back just to get a closer look at the babies holding hands, and she gets herself all secure on the couch and props pillows around herself so she can hold one of my 17-pound sluggers in her arms. It gives me flashbacks to my own childhood: the songs we would sing, the stories she would tell, her jokes and silly faces. I watch the way my sons stare at the brightly-colored necklaces dangling from her neck, following her big, shiny rings with their eyes, fascinated by her red lips and heavily-blushed cheeks. It all feels so familiar. Only now, I'm the Mommy, and these are my babies. Whoa.
In New York, one of my 5-month old sons became totally enamored with his GG, almost from first meeting. He just kept looking at her, turning his head to catch her eyes, grinning at her. I kept wondering what it was he was seeing, did he recognize something in her, or just recognize a loving face? Her aide told us that during some rough patches with her health over the last several months, GG would look at the boys' picture, even carry it from room to room, as a reminder of what she had to look forward to. Of course, I got weepy -- I mean, how could I not? But, here we were, my husband's family, four generations all together at Christmas. We made it.
I keep thinking about how lucky my babies are to have great-grandmas, but really, my husband and I feel like the lucky ones. Let's be honest, the babies probably won't remember all of this in ten years, but we grown-ups will remember it always. We will hold on to these memories of our children with our grandmothers, just add them to the memories we've already banked. For me, it's the times with my Grandma, eating sky-high ice cream cones, singing funny songs, and holding out our hands to receive the little gifts she would spoil us with every week. Now, add to those, the image of her holding my sweet baby, singing "oh, little boy, you are such a joy," or cooing at my other son to "give me one of those smiles." Since the holidays, I have several more memories that I'll hold on to for my babies, and maybe, one day, I'll show them the video I took of their New York GG, usually so reserved, playing paddy-cake with them.
So, yeah, I'm a sap, and proud of it! Sure, I know it's easy to take family for granted, to forget to call, to grumble over another long drive to visit this aunt or that cousin. But if you're lucky enough to still have your grandparents around -- hey, you're lucky if your parents are still in good health -- then make sure you take lots of pictures, remember each moment, and when your babies get older, tell them stories about who their grandparents and great-grandparents were and the joy they got from their little grandbabies. Because life goes on and time passes and people pass and, who knows, one day you may find yourself sitting in your living room, meeting your children's grandchildren for the first time.
Are your grandparents still around to see your little ones? Do you have any special memories of them together?
Something my kids handmade
A fun holiday at home with my family
Some time off!
Something just for me, like a plush robe