“Turn around, and they’re two; turn around, and they’re four…” I took a bit of poetic license with those lyrics, but for those of you with grandchildren, you understand. Every visit with my grandchildren has made me more aware of how fleeting time is.
I remember when my own daughters were young and, after a particularly trying day of too much to do, not enough time in the day, and the three of them annoying each other, saying to their dad, “They were impossible today. I couldn’t get half the things done I needed to for having to deal with their driving each other crazy, and me along with them.” I will never forget his response, “You know, in a few years you’ll wonder how they grew up so fast.” He was so right! Just like the song, I turned around, and they were women with babes of their own.
I think this may be one reason I want to spend as much time as possible with these precious children. Like most young mothers, I felt like I was going non-stop from the time I awoke until long after our girls were in bed. Even on the days that were slower, it wasn’t possible to devote hours of individual time to each of them. Our eldest was not quite 3½ when her sister was born, and was just six when our youngest came along. I was lucky to be a stay-at-home mom, but giving my full attention to one of them was often interrupted. When I am with my grandchildren, I can give them the time I didn’t always have to give their moms. It is all the best time—have fun, play, explore, read, sing, be silly, be quiet, be close, listen, and learn about these fabulous little children.
I love that we live a little less than four hours away from two of our daughters, and only 90 minutes away from the other. Being that close, we are able to be there for the significant life events and get visits in fairly often. This is important to me. I want to make memories, not only for my grandchildren to look back on, but to bring a smile to my face when I recall our times together and the joy they bring me.
Our youngest grandchild celebrated her first birthday in April. I could clearly remember the day she was born and wondered how an entire year had already gone by. She seemed to go from a babe in arms to Miss Independent in the blink of an eye. I know that she will not remember the thousand times I sang “Soft Kitty” to her, rocked her, read to her, fed her, or stayed with her, but I will, and will treasure them. In a few years, she will be able to remember and recall times in her life, and I want to be a part of those.
I will turn around, and suddenly she will be the age of our oldest grandchild, who should be about four, but in reality, is nine. Yep, blink of an eye. And while wondering how she could possibly be nine already, her brothers somehow turned six and three. It is the same with our other two grandchildren. For a year and a half, they lived in Texas for their dad’s work. We saw them, thankfully, more than I imagined we would, but as our grandson was born there a mere three months after they arrived, I missed a lot of seeing the baby to toddler stage. And his sister went from being a toddler to a little girl. They will not remember our visits, but I always will and hold them as dear as the first time I held each one of them soon after they entered the world.
I know they can’t stay little forever, and I wouldn’t want them to. I look forward to watching them grow and change—seeing how they mature; watching them move into interests beyond princesses, trucks, and Star Wars; giving them sage advice when asked, and hugs when needed; being not just their Gigi, but someone they can trust, want to visit, and who loves them so very much. No, I want to see what the future holds for them—I just want to turn around a little bit slower.