Happy Grandparents Day!

bw hands40 years ago, give or take a few days, Grandparents Day came to be. It’s self explanatory. It’s simply a day to honor grandparents. It’s not a big holiday. I doubt I’ll get any special recognition today and I’m not looking for it. That’s the funny thing about being a grandparent. The reward is in the being.

“Grandchildren are loving reminders of what we’re really here for.” -Janet Lanese

The other day while I was in the pick up line at school waiting for Beej to be released….yes, little Beej is in preschool now!… I got out of my car and came around to stand on the sidewalk. The man who had been leaning against the van in front of me in line took a few steps closer and commented on the weather. After a few moments of weather chit chat, he asked who I was waiting for. I told him it was my 3 year old grandson and he nodded, telling me he was also waiting for a 3 year old grandson. He went on to share that his kids dropped the grandkids off on their way to work and he drove them all to school. We found out that we both have 9 year old grandsons and wondered if they might be in the same class. (They are not.) It was a short, nothing to write home about, exchange but it was nice. It reminded me of days long ago when I stood outside another school waiting for my own kids come out, talking with other moms. Things have changed in the last 20 years. Way back (haha) grandparents showed up for concerts and graduations. Now they are as present in the school setting as parents! I’m hoping my “grandpa” friend is there when I pick up Beej on Tuesday. I’ve found that the moms prefer to sit in their cars until they see their child walking out. Although it might age me, I prefer the old way- standing outside chatting- and if it has to be with a grandpa, so be it!

“Grandchildren are the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation.” -Lois Wyre

Last week due to 48 hour shifts and a wedding, CJ and Beej spent 5 days straight with us. On day five, they went home with Daddy. That evening my son, Michael, sent the following text- “CJ will be calling you from our house phone.”

Minutes later I answered my phone, unsure what I was going to hear. Quickly dispensing with formalities, CJ said, “I just wanted to call to tell you goodnight.”

It seemed curious. Quite out of the ordinary. But I asked how his day went- “Fine”, asked if he was happy to be back home- “Yes”, and finally went into what has come to be our regular “closing” remarks when we leave each other. “Okay, well, you’ll spend tonight, tomorrow and the next night at your house and then Daddy will drop you off at school each day. On Friday, I’ll pick you up and you’ll spend the night here with me. I love you! Goodnight!” This has become custom because the schedule is not always regular and I hope to give CJ a sense of security in knowing what’s happening when. He seems to respond well to it.

A follow up conversation with Daddy filled me in on the reason behind the unexpected phone call. After five days with the grandparents here, CJ had struggled with settling in at home with Dad’s rules. He had pushed every boundary could find and a few he didn’t know were there. Now, let’s make one thing clear. Dad’s rules and Nonna’s rules are very similar. Due to the amount of time the boys spend here, we don’t have the luxury of spoiling them in the typical grandparent ways. And out of me and my husband, I’m the bad guy, the enforcer, the meanie.

CJ is not an easy kid to get close to and we have our ups and down, he and I. Then something like this happens- when he calls me because he needs that touchstone- and it’s the most precious gift he can give me. His trust.

“If your baby is ‘beautiful and perfect, never cries or fusses, sleeps on schedule and burps on demand, an angel all the time,’ you’re the grandma.” -Teresa Bloomingdale

With so many more grandparents helping their children raise their perhaps this day needs to pack more of a punch but given the spirit in which it was created, I’m sure that, like me, most grandparents get such joy from being with their little ones that there is no other gift that could be more precious.

Happy Grandparents Day!

Happy Sunday!

-Kat

 

Silence of a Different Kind

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Three years ago, Beej came into the world and changed my life forever. I had become a young grandma when my oldest son married someone who already had a child, CJ. so I was familiar with the fun of grandparenting a child who was already potty trained, out of a crib, off a bottle….an independent child.

And then Beej was born and everything changed. Due to circumstances beyond our control (handy phrase, isn’t it?) Beej and I found ourselves spending major stretches of time together and we created a bond that went deeper than that doting grandma who bounces the baby on her knee, then smiles as she hands him off to his parents at the first sign of tears.

Spending so much time with first an infant, then a toddler and now and emerging preschooler does not make for much silence around our house. The result was me and Beej creating our own kind of silence. Maybe it wasn’t the complete quiet where the only sound you can hear is the refrigerator running or a siren blaring faintly in the distance but it is a silence all the same.

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Beej was born a lover of books, a future master reader. We share this passion and I know for a fact that I have read more books to him than I could have possibly read to all three of my children combined.

 

 

 

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When we aren’t reading, Beej is playing. A lot. His imagination seems to be never ending and I never know what he’s going to think of next. He doesn’t need a screen or even another person to entertain him. He’s happy in his own little make believe world where he assigns roles to anyone who happens to be passing by. I have been Percy to his Thomas, Lightning to his Cruze, and Stacy Jones to his Tanya.

 

 

“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.”

-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Most of my days might not be filled with your “typical” silence but I’ve learned to savor the times Beej and I spend together. Whether the silence is accented with the sound of me reading as pages turn or Beej’s little voice narrating an elaborate scenario, often peppered with whatever song he deems appropriate, this silence is a precious time. It really is an unexpected blessing that never fails to fill me with joy. This grandparenting gig might have come sooner than I anticipated but boy, is it worth it!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silence

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Open Topic

Have a great day!

-Kat

 

 

You Can Call Me……Lucy

In my early blogging days, I wrote a post about my “Grandma” name. You can read it here →My Grandma Name. Well, here we are 7 months later and time is closing in on us. CJ’s little sibling is due very soon. It’s been a long 7 months and it took a lot of work but I almost have my husband and kids calling me “Nonna” some of the time when CJ is around. They are trying. I ended up choosing Nonna myself after receiving no input from anyone. I like Nonna because it’s the Italian word for Grandma and I like that it gives me a connection to my own Italian heritage.

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So we had this plan. If everyone calls me Nonna, CJ will eventually begin calling me Nonna. It sounds simple enough, right? After all, the reason he calls me “Mom” is because that’s what he heard. Wouldn’t you know, about 3 months ago, while I was visiting him, CJ pulled me to the side and whispered in my ear, “I know what I want to call you.”

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I didn’t know what to expect. This kid has one heck of an imagination and I can’t begin to figure out how his mind works! “What?” I asked, ready for anything!

“I want to call you- Lucy,” he said, with a triumphant emphasis on the name.

Okay, I have to admit I was not expecting this. “Lucy?” I repeated. He nodded emphatically. “Are you sure?” He was.

We humored him. “CJ, say goodbye to Nonna.” CJ would say, “Goodbye, Lucy.” “Can you give this to Nonna?” “Here you go, Lucy!”

It took a little while to get the source of the name. He did not give it up at first. When he did, he was matter of fact. “Lucy is Wyldstyle’s real name.”

Now I was really confused. Who was Wyldstyle? I asked CJ’s parents and they both laughed, knowingly. It was all clear to them now. Wyldstyle was in the Lego Movie. She is the love interest of the main character, Emmet, although Batman is her boyfriend.

Lego.com describes her as- A free spirit who loves pushing boundaries and being creative. She has a strong, independent streak that makes her question when things are wrong.

Brickipedia (a Lego Wikipedia) gives her background as- She is as “tough as nails” and is Emmet’s love interest. As an independent figure, she doesn’t let others give her orders easily; as a Master Builder, her creativity rivals even her no-business attitude. Despite this, she has a caring heart and puts a great deal of faith in those she considers friends. 

Check out the video. (It’s short.)

So, you tell me, Nonna or Lucy? Which would you want to be?

Let the Good Times Roll!

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Are you familiar with NaNoWriMo? The premise is quite simple. You write a novel or at least 50,000 words in a month. It doesn’t matter if it’s total crap. You are not supposed to edit. Just write.

I’ve written a number of drafts in the past few days but posted none of them. They are crap. My thoughts are not coherent. I’m not sure what I’m trying to say. My head is swirling with post topics, packing lists, committee plans and life. With each day that passes I feel the panic rising and the pressure to produce something worth reading grows. In other words, I have been writing total crap.

So until things quiet down, here is a quick update-

Kris is home! He was in Orlando for 7 months and we only saw him twice in that time. He brought home is usual chaos and clutter but I guess he wouldn’t be Kris without it. He’s taken a few missteps, which I will talk about in another post, but he started back at school and it looks like he will be done with his Associate’s Degree next semester. Woohooo! He has been applying and interviewing for jobs so we are hoping he gets some good news on that front. The only other thing left to deal with is a car, since his died somewhere outside of Nashville on his drive home. (Did I mention that?)

Big Family Gathering- The relatives came. They did not come to play. No one exchanged harsh words. No one came to blows. I had hoped my sister and her family would come around a little……make an attempt with Kris…..anything. I had really hoped that my mother would have shown more of a sign of support for Kris (and me, too, I admit it!) in front of my sister because I feel like that might be the kick in the pants she needs. The way things stand when my sister is around, my mother becomes silent. It’s not as if she’s overly demonstrative on a good day but it’s obvious she is on my sister’s team and me and mine are not included.

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College Boy- We will be leaving on Saturday to take Andrew to college. Yesterday was another big shopping day. Today is laundry and organization. I know it’s a good thing. I know it has to happen. Just let me have my sad moments and my tears. It will help me deal with him not being around and I will be able to move on. Okay?? 🙂

Grandkids in action! Little CJ begins kindergarten on Monday. He will be attending the school I went to as a child. 🙂 I’ll be missing his first day because we will be moving Andy into his dorm but I’m looking forward to seeing lots of pictures! And the grandbaby is making his presence known. After playing possum on me for weeks, I finally felt him move! I can’t wait to see this squirmy little guy who is causing Jasmine to have hiccups all the time.

Then there are all the regular Back to School doings- being on the board, I have meetings and events to attend, committee work to organize and all the fun that goes into an important but underpaid ($0) position in the district.

I have been trying to keep up on reading everyone’s posts. And if I’m doing more “liking” than “commenting” but I hope to change that soon!

Time for me to fly. I need to order a music book that Andrew needs….well last week, I guess!

Have a great day!

Kat

My Grandma Name

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I’m going to be a grandma…. again! This grandparenting thing is fairly new to me. You see, when my son got married a few months ago, in addition to a daughter-in-law, we gained a 4 year old grandson.

 

I love my grandson. I adore him!!! I had heard rumors about grandchildren being so much fun but I had no clue! I am loving every minute of it. Upon hearing that another one was on the way, there was no end to my happiness.

 

Then it occurred to me. We needed to figure out what to call me. Back when we had first met our grandson-to-be, CJ, my son Michael had referred to me as “my mom” so it was only natural that CJ started calling me Mom. After all, that was what he heard everyone else call me. When Michael got engaged to Jasmine we did toss around the idea that maybe we needed to come up with a grandparent name for me. Both Michael’s grandmas were alive as well as one of Jasmine’s. There was also Jasmine’s mother and CJ’s birth father’s mother claiming the name “Grandma”. That was a total of 5 grandmas for CJ to sort out. I understood that adding another Grandma to the mix might be bit much. That left us with a dilemma. I couldn’t be “Mom” forever. Besides, if and when more grandchildren joined the family, they would most likely follow the lead of the oldest one, CJ. I explained to everyone that in order to change my name, it would take work on their parts to be consistent in calling me something else. Well, that idea didn’t even get off the ground. We went on as usual, me being Mom and Jasmine being Mommy.

 

With the big announcement of the new baby on the way, that old problem arose. If ever there was a time to make a change, it was NOW!!! Then, it came to me. I was watching CJ one afternoon and we were talking about family relationships, in particular that I was his grandma, even if he didn’t call me by that name. Why not have CJ pick out my grandma name?

 

Okay, I’m not crazy. I’m not going to give CJ complete reign over this. My plan is to ask him if he would like to help me pick out my grandma name. From there, I will give him a variety of names to choose from. Of course, that’s going to be the hard part. My kids call their grandmas “Grandma”. I’m not even sure where to begin outside of the common ones- and they are???

So, my next task is to work on a list of grandma names. Anyone have any ideas?