I was never the kid that baby-sat. Never the teenager that loved little kids. Actually, until the moment that Amber arrived in my arms, I had no idea I even liked babies. Likewise, I had no idea what to do with one. Thankfully my dear friend, Liz, a pediatric nurse, was there to help me, in the early days. Then she and her family provided almost a second home for Amber as I worked nights and weekends at the hospital. And so it began.
Later, when Ally and Lauren came, things were easier in a way. But I was still hurrying so fast to work, run a household and manage three children that I know I never, really, took time to enjoy them. Sure I marveled at their accomplishments and was proud of them as they grew and excelled but I was always running so fast just trying to keep up.
Now, with my oldest at 30 (do you appreciate that, Amber, that I keep telling your age?), Ally at 24 and Lauren now 19, things have changed. The grandbabies have forever changed the way I look at family.
Jordyn is the oldest at four and I have spent the most time with her, due to geographic restrictions of the other two being in Colorado. The summer Jordyn was two, she spent three days a week with Lauren and I while her parents were working. While of course there were things that were harder with a two-year old, and sometimes Lauren and Jordyn both acted like toddlers, overall, it was one of the best summers I remember.
We spent days doing horsey chores, playing countless hours in the backyard, going to the beach and just letting Jordyn teach us to enjoy the little things about summer. We went to horse shows and barrel races. Jo rode in an exhibition barrel race with friends Kallyn and her sister, also named Lauren, helping her stay in the saddle.
We don’t see Jo near as much as we did that summer but have started picking her up from school on Wednesdays so she can spend some regular time at Granny’s farm. While she still loves the horses, dogs and cats, she also loves Justin Bieber. She is planning their wedding. Things change, but it is so great to have her in our lives. Hopefully, she will learn to love riding as much as Lauren.
Riley is two and lives in Denver. I have been fortunate enough to visit regularly (as my mother is there as well) and he knows his Granny. He believes I live at the Denver Airport (when I am not on the farm) and is forever after his mom, to just go to the airport and pick me up. I think he believes I just wait there for them until they come. Riley and I are friends and understand each other. We like the same books, the same animals, the same treats, although he does like some car, tractor, truck stuff better than I. He has come to the farm a few times, most recently for the Houston Rodeo and always has a blast. I, the mother of three girls (did I mention Amber was 30?), have never had a little boy around. I treasure his smile and the way his eyes lit up when I watched him take his first solo ride on Mr. Kid.
I cannot wait for the day when he is old enough to fly to Granny’s by himself. I want to learn more about this little man with the bright, inquisitive mind.
Lexi, is nine-months old now. While I have seen her a handful of times (since she also is in Denver), my most recent trip had her showing serious reluctance to hang out with Granny. For the first 24 hours or so, there was no way this little one was spending any time with me. Slowly, we had a breakthrough. By the last night we were sitting together in the rocking chair. I was singing my stupid made up baby songs that the kids all love. Amber actually got to take a shower without worrying about what Lexi was doing. Lexi is going to be a beauty like her momma. I can’t wait to spend more time with her!
Finally, we have Ally and Luke’s next child, Kendyll, due in July. We will add another girl to our girl happy family. I am sure she will be as smart and talented as all my grandchildren. It is just what a grandmother knows. I know this is all a cliché-but grandchildren are amazing gifts. I am blessed in so many ways!