Tuesday, June 08, 2010

it's grand to be a grandparent

Over Memorial Day weekend, Charlie's dad, Alex, and his wife, Kathleen, came to visit.


They arrived on Saturday morning with a huge box full of various gifts for the children. Among the Buzz Lightyear and Toy Story paraphernalia, there were an abundance of arts and crafts. Which, considering our children are at an age where gluing and painting things together rank up there with eating ice cream, this was a very appropriate gift idea that kept our children constructively entertained for hours.


In the midst of painting and gluing and coating things with sparkles, Kathleen demonstrated how one might balance a Gatorade bottle on their head.


Over the past few years, Kathleen has brought a tremendous amount of attention to drowning prevention in her role as "Grannie Gatorhead" so once she pulled the bottle out, our children stood in line to get a chance balancing a bottle on their heads...




And then, they tried it in the water.


It's not as easy as it looks and I can't even imagine swimming 50+ miles in open water with one on my head. But even Poppa Alex can do it!


Although you can't see them all, here we have three generations of beautiful blue eyes. Look at those blue eyes on my baby! LOOK AT THEM!


On Sunday afternoon, Alex and Kathleen took us on a harbor cruise where we had a chance to see the beautiful San Diego skyline from the water.


Let me tell you, being on that boat, looking at the beautiful sights, feeling the fresh sea air and the gentle roll of the waves was exhausting.


So exhausting that we couldn't even walk to lunch.

(Well, I could. Who else do you think would carry all the gear?)

(And who knows where I can get a llama or pack mule?)


There is no question, some of the brightest days of my life are those days that our children have the opportunity to interact with their grandparents. It brings me unparalleled joy to see our parents playing, hugging, sharing stories, and creating memories with our children. These are extremely precious moments.


I can imagine it's especially wonderful to be a grandparent. Not only do you have the joy of spending quality time with your children's children, but you can see, firsthand, that your lineage will continue and the core principles and values of your heritage that you shared with your children, will now be shared with the next generation.

As you watch these little energetic seedlings of your own ancestry frolic and play, you can imagine and fantasize all that they will have the opportunity to experience in their lives and you can dream about the wonderful things that they will do in this world. And then, at the end of the day when you're worn out, but the energetic seedlings of your own ancestry are not, you pat them on their adorable little heads and say to your baggy-eyed children, "That was such fun! You are doing a wonderful job! Good bye everyone! We're going to take a nap!"


And you do.


  1. Dad and Kathleen6/8/10, 3:04 PM

    Dear Jen:
    The joy that your precious children gave us was the real treat! You two are the very, very best parents on this planet and it shows through the wonderfulness of your four children. This was a difficult time for you and we only hope we brought some light. Helicopter grandparents that we are.
    We miss all of you so much and thank you for the most treasured of holidays ever! Love the turtle!
    Love, Dad and Kathleen

  2. That was a great post. I'm a grandma and you hit the nail right on the head! Right now I'm tending 3 of those little wonders for 9 days and 10 nights (but who's counting?) and next week at this time- I'll be taking one very long nap!

  3. Please tell Grannie Gator-Head she's awesome for not only her balancing/swimming skill, but for her efforts to raise awareness. Mine is definitely raised by reading about her. My boys are starting to swim without their life vests as of this week, and now my husband and I are talking ad nauseum about the need for a higher level of vigilance. This post made my gut clench, and reinforced the talks we've been having about swimming safety.

  4. Great post! I also enjoy seeing my little ones interact with their grand-parents :)

    Talking about arts and crafts, I miss your posts about organizing things around the house. Especially organizing the arts & crafts/drawings etc etc that seem to multiply every day. How do you keep track of who made/drew what, and what to keep/toss into the bin?

  5. Oooh! That bottle idea is genius! Gotta try that. (And yay, grandparents!)

  6. This is unrelated, but I thought of your situation when I read Ask Moxie today... www.askmoxie.org. Not sure if you read it but its a parenting blog that a woman in NYC writes. Today's post was about communting and how it beat her down. I know you're already planning to live close to work, but it sounds like its worth the extra cost if you can afford it...

  7. I love your blog! You have such cute kids!