It's been two years since I added anything to my blog spot. I can't believe it's been that long! So much has happened I hardly know where to begin to catch up. I've changed the look of the blog and like it much better. I've added some of my favorite bloggers and other interesting links. I highly recommend them.
When I last wrote we had one grandchild, a precious girl who is now 3 1/2 years old and just started going to preschool. She's an intelligent and a happy, precocious, presence in our lives. I'm often reminded how carefree childhood can be, and I'm relearning how to have more of a sense of humor, how to be spontaneous, how to have fun in everything we do, and how to live each day at a time. I know some of these very things I love about her are likely frustrating to her parents...she gets too enthusiastic in hugging her little brother, she babbles on to anyone who will listen and we never have to guess what she's thinking because she thinks out loud, and she has spurts of energy where she runs wildly around the house neighing like a horse. She likes to help set the table, cut up watermelon or honeydew with a plastic knife, but she doesn't always like to pick up and put toys away anymore. She's perfect company for anyone who may be feeling a bit lonely.
Her little brother joined the family in January, 2007. He has the same blue eyes, but blonder hair than his sister (he's what you call a real towhead), is quieter, and keeps most of his thoughts to himself. But his face is a dead giveaway as to what he's feeling or thinking. He lights up my day with the sunniest smile, a smaller imitation of his sister. His pout almost breaks my heart, and he seems to know it. I often find him in a pensive mood but he won't tell me what he's thinking. Of course, he hasn't learned all the words he needs to talk to us, but I have a feeling even when he has a good handle on language he will still keep a lot of things to himself. He takes more risks than his big sister, a lot of times because he's trying to keep up with her, but isn't old enough to do what she's doing. He raises quite a fuss when we won't let him do what could be quite harmful to him. He sits quietly reading a book or building a tower with Legos, that is if his sister doesn't interrupt him. Then it's time for Nana to read a book with one or both to help diffuse over-enthusiastic sibling rivalry.
Being a Nana is more wonderful than I ever imagined it would be. Even on days when my chronic pain is at it's worst, just getting a call from my daughter which often includes a hello from Alana or Derek helps me forget what's bothering me. Hours of pain are erased when I spend time playing with, and caring for, our grandchildren. It's afterwards that I groan, moan, and limp around like an injured horse (who's lost its neigh), and complain to my hubby, Papa, that I can't budge another inch. But it's all worth it. Yes, and yes, grandchildren are real gifts from God, and also our children, who are the first blessing. But sometimes I've wished it could be lived backwards...if we would have our grandchildren first (I know, it's impossible), then we could hopefully enjoy our children as much as we now do our grandchildren. I remember it was the sense of responsibility, perfectionism, and constant vigilance to protect them that hindered me from just letting go and enjoying the moments each day, week, month, and year.
I'm not saying I didn't enjoy our son and daughter. There was real joy in those times of spontaneous connection in the moment. There was a feeling of great reward when they responded to our love which included times of discipline and consequences not to their liking. We all survived those times and we had fun in spite of them. I just hope that our children mostly forget the struggles and remember the good times. Going to the pizza place in Spring to celebrate the beginning of Summer. Going back to the pizza place and shopping for school needs and clothes in Fall. Having popcorn and watching a rented movie on a stormy winter's night. I especially want them to know we have always loved, and always will love them. I think our relationships have evolved more to a friendship level now. At least that is my hope. Is it possible to stop being a parent, or a child of parents? Hopefully, we can reach a level of maturity where we put those roles in perspective and let go to experience and enjoy each other as the individuals we are.
On the lighter side: Kansas has had a mild and wet summer. Having grown up on the farm and having a farmer for a son-in-law I find that the growing seasons still influence my life. I love Spring and Fall, especially Spring since I was born in April, and Spring is a life-enriching time. Everything is reborn in Spring. As a child I loved summer. School was out, and I could bask in the long sunny days as I read a book or helped my mom freeze or can garden produce. Any hot weekend was an occasion for home-made ice cream served with angel food cake, lemonade and iced tea. Chewing on ice cubes while reading or working was a pleasant way to cool down. It still is a pleasant way to cool down, but better than ice cubes are the low-cal, low-sugar fruit smoothies I make to subdue a hot day. Mmm-Mmm!
I like Fall because it's a time to slow down and think. Cool, rainy afternoons are just right for catching up on journal writing, setting goals and planning, considering what I can do on those cold winter days when snow keeps me housebound. Will I attempt to get out my scrapbooking materials and finally finish the album I began soon after Alana was born and is still only half done? Maybe I'll write that short story or start a novel. Saturdays might be spent baking some bread or cinnamon rolls to warm up the kitchen and enjoy the scents that remind me of pleasant memories from the past. It's time to get out the full-spectrum lamp that I can sit under while I read or work on the computer to drive away the gloom of SAD. That's the main thing I dread about winter--the short and cloudy days that keep away the sunshine which I absolutely need to feel happy.
I guess I can always come to my blog here and surf the links and favorite other blog spots to drive away the gloom. I'm feeling better already because I have something to look forward to. I wonder if anyone will read this blog and find something that speaks to their heart and will inspire them to share or comment so we can carry on a conversation about life? I can only hope and pray that will happen.