Today my heart is singing an old Neil Diamond tune, “Hello, my friends, Hello!” It has been about a month, since I’ve been able to add to this blog. I’ve missed you and hope that with my entry here, this day after the 4th of July, I will be welcomed back into your hearts and homes. Let me first say that my husband and I have been nurturing our two grandsons (and our daughter’s fiancé) while she has been studying in India. We left the comforts of our Illinois home on June 4th. Now, one month and one day later, we on the thousand mile drive back home as I type this blog.
Here is what I have learned (or relearned) in the past month.
- Young boys and men eat A LOT!
- Northern Colorado contains some of the most beautiful places in our country
- Grandparenting has definite advantages over parenting!
- At my age, keeping up with 9 and 12 year old boys is exhausting…and FUN!
Since my husband and I have been empty nesting for a long time, I forgot how different it is to cook for five, when two are growing boys and one is a young man working 16-hour nights! Grandma pulled out all the stops! The favorites were Blueberry Pancakes, Chicken and Dumplings, Kiwi Upside Down Cake and Crepes filled with cannoli filling, sautéed apples, or peanut butter and mixed fruit. Here are the links to those recipes.
We had the joy and privilege of spending some free time, when the boys were with their dad, to drive into Estes Park, Georgetown, Boulder, Rocky Mountain National Park, Allenspark, Idaho Springs, Walden, and Greeley. Our future son-in-law also took us up into the foothills for some fishing in the Pinewood Reservoir and, when our daughter returned she treated us to a day in the Carter Lake area. If you are ever in the front range of northern Colorado, near Fort Collins, we highly recommend the following day trips.
When I was a young mom, raising three children, working, and earning my Masters’ Degree, I’d reach the end of the day and be exhausted. I don’t know what I would have done without the support of my dear husband. As a grandmother, I am 40 years older, retired and, on occasion, I take responsibility for my grandchildren. Again, thankful for the help of “Grandpa.” At the end of those days we are both exhausted. The difference is that we are also filled with pride to know our children are raising fun-loving, hard-working, and simply terrific grandchildren! It let’s us know that, even with all the mistakes we know we made, we can honestly say we must have done SOMETHING right!
My final lesson was that exhaustion can be fun. There is nothing better, at the end of the day, than to hear my grandchildren say, “Grandma, can you make crepes again tomorrow?” It is revitalizing to hear them planning another putt-putt golf excursion “as a family.” It is heart warming to know that your future son-in-law has said, “Do you think your mom would be willing to make chicken and dumplings one more time before they have to leave?” Exhaustion melts away when the boys say, “Grandma, don’t forget “Nighty-night, sleep tight, don’t let Bugs Bunny bite.” It makes one realize that the funny circumstances and family stories that were begun while raising our children, have been passed on to the next generation. Hopefully, one day, Jacob and Ben will tell their children, “when my Grandma tucked me in at night she’d repeat poems from an old TV show and make up verses just to make us laugh!”
Lord, we have had an exhausting month of love, thank you for these many grandparent joys!