We’ve been enjoying life with littles again as we’ve been babysitting our Northern boy’s twins. Living far away means we seldom see them, but it also means that when we do, it’s for a few days at a time. I am very thankful for FaceTime, though, and often wonder how missionaries and others moved from home to distant lands having little or no communication with their families.
It’s been wonderful having a good chunk of bonding time: cuddles while they take their bottles, fun watching them try new foods, playing together on the floor, pushing them along in their stroller (beaming proudly as sweet old ladies stopped to admire them), bouncing and clapping songs and games, cheering them on as they have a go at new skills like climbing and walking, and precious moments praying with them as they’re snuggled into bed.
It’s been a grand week or so, despite some crankiness with emerging teeth. Our boy and our daughter-in-love have done an amazing job of getting them into a routine that’s both doable and flexible. Multiples certainly require a bit of planning to get even simple tasks completed, especially as they become more and more mobile, and your home is on several levels. Also when you’re only one person and there are two needy littles, it presents a challenge: who requires you most at this particular moment. Thankfully, I had only a couple of short days where I was on my own with them. Other than that, my Love is ready and willing to do his part, which is particularly useful in the morning. My boy and his wife jokingly call dibs on “bottles or bums” each morning. We, of course, had our df girl and our cl boy with us (most of the time), giving us some time to catch our breath, and giving them some quality time with their nephews.
Being with these two made me reminisce about my own grandparents. Grandpa was a gruff, giant of a man with the softest, squishiest heart. Grandma F. was a stylish, generous woman who loved her family fiercely. Grandma C. was loving, deeply devoted to her family and fun to be with. She enjoyed nothing more than playing card games with us for hours on end.
My grandparents often kept my brother and me for weekends and took us on many fun adventures in the big city where they lived. But long before that, we understood how special we were to my grandpa. My mom tells a story of him wearing a t-shirt that said, “it’s a girl!” to his bowling game the night I was born. Even though he and Grandma married after my mom was out of the house and also married (my mom’s dad passed away when she was 14), Grandpa F. could not have been more excited for his first grandbaby. There is a sweet picture of my brother and me in Grandpa’s special chair. (Perhaps when we unpack our boxes in storage I can share it with you.) Like Edith and Archie Bunker, my grandparents each had their own chair at one end of their living room. Grandpa would pretend to be surprised and grumpy when we’d sneak into his, but he would allow us to stay there, often letting us snuggle up in his lap. He always had a stash of Smarties in his hiding place above the stove and he’d spoil us a little by letting us enjoy a box in his special chair. We felt cherished and loved.
What a gift we have in memories. Some are good, some not so much. Yet, each one represents important people and events that have touched us. Each one has played a part in the history of our lives, to make us the individuals we are today.
So many wonderful memories, and so many more to make.