Tag Archives: Grand Parents

Amazing Human Nature

As most of my readers know, I am in a season of life where I care for two of my grandchildren while their parents attend full-time University.  It has been an incredible journey for myself and my husband.  We are learning to be loved and to love on a whole new level.

Human Nature.  Sigh………

We are all born into this world with a mind that is so ready to learn.  When I began giving birth to my own babies and found myself in an unfamiliar life setting I read, I talked, I observed and I listened to what others were doing and not doing with their children.  As parents I think we find ourselves in a life full of busyness and just plain old work!  Keeping the house work up to the best of our abilities, changing diapers, feeding our babes and spending loving moments with them.  AND, don’t forget, longing for sleep and time to ourselves and with our spouses.  Our whole world changed – hopefully to the better.  Mine did.  As a matter of fact, we tend to spend so much time tending to the babes physical needs (and that is VERY important) that we wonder if we are fulfilling their other needs that lead them to become the amazing human beings they are meant to become.  We don’t always feel that we are making a difference, do we?

Does that make sense?  I do believe they take in a lot by observing us and how we treat them and others.  Example is nine tenth’s of the law – is that how it goes? Whatever……

But what about that human nature?  I do believe that babies come into this world with a need to be loved and held and comforted.  They have a need to be fed and cared for…… Feed Me!  Sometimes my human nature takes over and doesn’t want to love them right now – I don’t want to hold you, I just want you to sleep so I can sleep…….. Know the feeling?

Well, as a grandparent, I can tell you that it’s a whole new ball game.  It is not my responsibility to be their parents.  It’s a new freedom to be able to love on them and comfort them and spoil them to some degree and then send them home.  Since I have them five days a week, and most of the day, I, of course, change the diapers, take to the potty, wipe the snot, etc.  BUT, I also have a different perspective than when I was the mommy.  I get to see things about children I didn’t have the time for when I raised mine.  It’s amazing.  Well worth the wait for this time in life.

But back to that Human Nature.  We teach them to love and be kind, and we better, because in each of us is this uncanny ability to be mean.  There, I said it.  I sat here and watched as the little one (one and half years old) approached the bigger one (almost four years) and wanted what Sissy had.  Thankfully, Sissy is kind, most of the time, to little sister.  When Sissy wouldn’t give in to little one, the little one became a human piranha – her mouth flew open and she came at her sister with the intention to bite.  And bite she did!  Other sibling confrontations have been pushing, knocking little one over, etc.  All normal behavior as far as I’m concerned.  Usually they work it out among themselves or parental – type intervention comes in with time-outs and good talks.

Have you ever wondered this – we teach them to love and be kind and to help each other, etc.  But how did they learn to bite?  How did they learn to want what the others have?  They seem to pick up on all the selfish traits and desires much sooner than they do the love and kindness and sharing.  It is born in us. Baby, you were born this way……..

So, that being said, what is our “job” as parents, grandparents?  I see it as a very serious and high calling.  Guess what peeps?  These little ones have come into our charge, whether we were expecting them to come or they were a total surprise.  And these very little ones will be the people who are in our government offices or businesses or neighbors when they grow into adulthood.  These very little ones are the future of our world.  This is serious stuff.  Don’t ignore them.  Feed them with love and kindness and giving hearts.  Listen to them.  Get to know them.  Each little babe is an individual human being with a built in personality and gifts that we, as parents, need to discover and nurture them into the adult they were meant to be.  There is no one solution for every human being.

A particularly favorite Proverb of mine is: English Standard Version
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

This isn’t easy.  It takes some serious time with our babes to see who they are.  It would have been much easier for me, as a parent, to have treated my four all the same.  Even the same discipline techniques did not work on all four – I know, I tried.

So, Dear Parents and Caregivers, let’s do our best to know our children and raise them along that path.  Then, when they grow and mature into adulthood we can look at them with love and pride.  We can continue to cheer them on and we can rest assured they will do their best to make right decisions for themselves and others and this crazy world we live in.

Who could not love these………

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11018675_10204041471779489_6075986558168864039_oEnjoy!

cate b

 

You Are Amazing!

I chose to be a stay-at-home mom many years ago.  I have never regretted that decision.  I loved it.  Yes, there are sacrifices.  Yes, there is less money to live on.  And yes, creativity comes to play in more ways than you can imagine.

I feel that my children benefited from this decision.  Would they have benefited as much if I chose a career also?  YES – I believe so.  Because mothering and fathering is in the heart first of all.

I use to wonder, when I was a very young mother, why women I knew wanted to go to work and leave the kids in another’s care.  I quickly got over that.  I realized, as I watched and listened to them, that some of us humans are bent a different way.  It doesn’t mean they are less of a parent.  I honor their decisions.

Some parents have no choice.  I honor them also.  And yes, some perhaps need to get their act together and their priorities straight.  But they still love their children.

I find myself, in this time of life, caring for young children again.  I’ve talked about this is previous posts.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  After raising my kids – and I did have small jobs now and then as they got older – I went full time into the work force.  It was an amazing experience.  It was a position that I knew nothing about and yet was able to tap deep inside me and see that I could do it!

So, why is the job that women were created to do, physically and emotionally, still so scrutinized in this world today?  Why do so many women feel that “just being a mom” isn’t enough?  Why do mom’s, and probably dad’s who care for the kids, feel they are a bit useless?  Perhaps not intelligent enough for career minded people?  Simply, why is mothering so looked down upon?

Do you know how hard it is to convince a tiny human being that “they are kind, they smart, they are important”? Quote taken from The Help.  It’s a constant battle.  It takes just a few minutes to tell “Siri” what to say and what to do in comparison to telling a baby, then a child, then a pre-teen, then a teen, then a young adult…. and so on.  We are constantly facing things we cannot control that knock us down.  Lies are always coming against us.  Sometimes from actual people and sometimes in our heads.  Programming a computor is that – it is done.  But loving a human through the stages of life – is just that.  Life long.

Then the same question – why is parenthood so looked down upon?  Why is it such a struggle to feel you are doing something amazing?

You are.  You parents, whether you are working outside the home or staying home with your kids, are amazing.  You are doing an incredible thing.  It never stops.  It is continual.

You are doing a great thing!  Do not let others tell you or imply otherwise.  Do not second guess yourself.

You are amazing!  Tell a parent today that they are amazing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

cate b

Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes

new shoes

new shoes

Three years ago a lovely little baby joined our family. Our first grand daughter and fourth grand child.  From the start you could see a confidence in this little one that was astounding.  Her mom was attending a University at the time of her birth and her dad was making a career change to also go to school.

They needed me.  I wasn’t working at the time so I decided I could care for this little one.  I was challenged.  She wasn’t sure she really liked me.  She hated having her diaper changed.  After a few months we began to get along better.  I really think she associated me with the fact that when her parents left her with me, that meant they were leaving.  Her intelligence frightened me a little.  But those big blue eyes (eyes of which I never experienced from my own brown/hazel eyed kids) fascinated me and kept winning me over, no matter how mad she was at me.  She made me laugh.

We just celebrated her third birthday and she also has a little sister now who is six months old.  As I have watched her grow into an amazing little girl – it causes me to reflect on my childhood.  On my personality.  I see similarities between her and I.  I see a stubbornness that is familiar to me.  I see an attitude that convicts my heart to soften my attitude towards others without giving up the strong person I have become.

For her birthday, I posted a picture on Facebook, along with a little conversation we had recently:

Me: Hey Lucy, let’s get dressed and I’ll take you out to ride your bike.
Lu: No.
Me: Come on, don’t you want to ride your bike? Get your helmet.
Lu: No ride bike. Can I ride a horse (with big smile)?
Me: Horse? Well, how about a bike ride?
Lu: No bike – I want to ride a horse.
Me: sigh

We share the same love of horses – but as a child I only experienced riding my bike – often (once I learned to ride it)  – she has ridden a horse at least twice now in her young life.  And she fell in love.

A good friend said of this little one: “It’s easy to imagine you as a child Cate!”  I liked that my friend said that.  But the truth is, I wasn’t that way as a child.  I had different parents and different home life.  I didn’t have some of the advantages that this little one has.  Simply because it was a very different upbringing. 

I had the imagination and an imaginary horse.  I loved that horse.  But I greatly lacked in the confidence this little shows at such a young age.  As many arguments that we have (and yes, you can argue with a two year old) and the many time – outs she receives, I cannot help but love her so much that it makes me cry – good tears.  I take it very seriously the task I have been handed to help care for and raise this little one.

I had no idea that when I accepted the challenge of caring for this lovely that I would be smitten.  That, like the Grinch whose heart was two sizes too small, mine grew that day.  It grew more and more at each argument – “Calm down, Mammy, just calm down” – and other similar occasions.

This little one taught me about love and encouragement and hope.  Not only for her, but for myself and others.  I can see that she travels to the beat of a different drum, so to speak.  And that will be a challenge for her as she matures and goes off to school and other places where some may not understand her beat.  I know this because I go through this.  I did as a little child, and I was gently pushed into the corral and told to just obey and do as you’re told.  I made it through childhood :D.

Parents, we have to know our children.  It’s a day to day process as they grow into a child.  We have to take the time to know their personality.  You can have four children ad each one will be diversely different.  We cannot grow them the same way.  It’s work.

And grand parents, we can bring hope and love and encouragement to them like no other can.  They aren’t ours to raise completely. but our wisdom and cookies can go a long way.

I thank God for my five grand children.  Some I am closer to than others, but the love I have for them each is huge.  I pray often for ways I can show them.  Ways that I can help them.

I cannot walk in their shoes, but I can encourage them to find their own beat and walk in it!

going places

going places

Enjoy – one of my favorite singers –

cate b

 

My Ode to Grandparents

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 My husband and I became grandparents while our 2 (out of 4) youngest were still in High School.  Our oldest son married a wonderful gal who already had 2 sons of her own.  He has since adopted them and they have a third son now.

 At the time I did not feel like a grandma.  Most of that was due to the fact that I was still a “mommy” with 2 in school.  Also, having been a child of the 50’s – that’s 1950s to those of the present century – our grandparents were mostly gray-haired, bun wearing, large dresses and Mr Roger type sweater wearers. Whole different image back then.

(here is a picture with our oldest grandson at his High School graduation)

We now have a 4th grand child, she is just turning a year old.  We moved half way across the country 3 years ago and had to leave the 3 boys behind – their parents wouldn’t let them come with us….. whatever.  I miss them greatly.  But since arriving here the last 2 have married and our youngest and his lovely wife have given us a grand-daughter.  I have the privilege of caring for her at least 4 days a week.  I hesitate here.  I love spending time with her.  I laugh, I cry and it’s all good – but it does make me miss my boys back east.  But this “Ode to Grandparents” isn’t about me and all the joy I experience with mine.  This is for the fellow comrades who find themselves in situations that caused them to be “parents” again.  For whatever the reasons they have to raise their grandchildren – I lift my hat to them.  Heck, I bow down at their feet and if I could I’d give them all their dream vacations.  And I am serious.

I turned 60 in the fall.  I’m stiff when I don’t want to be and there are many days I want to stay in bed and read a book or two – if it didn’t hurt to lay down for long periods of time.  I’m not working now just because I don’t want to even though another income would be welcomed.  But that does allow me to take care of the little girl.  In her short illustrious life she has actually spent the night with Mammy and Papa 3 times.  The first time I ended up on the couch with a restless baby on top of me and absolutely NO sleep.  The second time we shared the guest room double bed so Papa and the dogs wouldn’t be disturbed or disturb us.  It was going well until about 1 am when I gave her a bottle of goat milk while lying next to me in bed.  She sucked so hard on the bottle that the nipple collapsed into the bottle and deposited goat milk all over the mattress and herself.  Of course I had NO extra clothes for her so I ended up wrapping her in a blanket and cuddling her, which apparently that is all she wanted anyway because she promptly fell asleep till morning.

The third time was just this past weekend.  Much progress has taken place.  Except ……. she caught a cold – on MY watch!  I almost panicked but we got through it after I drugged her lightly (don’t worry it was infants Tylenol).

Times have changed.  Children today experience way too much heartache in this world.  I thank you parents for sacrificing so much to give your loved ones the help and assistance they need.  They are our future.  We need to preserve and take back what was lost between generations.  We need each other.  All ages working together and supporting each other is a huge part of life.

God bless you.

cb