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Cheryl's Parenting Journal

Entry 19 ~ January 13, 2009
~ Spending Time with the Grandparents

Annie and Grandpa
Annie and Grandpa
My kids are very lucky! Not only are their grandparents living, they also live close by to us so they can visit with them almost every week! My mother lives 15 minutes away and we see her every weekend because she goes to church with us and usually has one of my kids for a sleepover on Saturday night! Brian's parents also live one town away, and although they are 83 years YOUNG, they are very involved with the grandkids and in fact, I think that's one of the factors that keeps them so young!

Brian's parents live in a town called Peace Dale. They live in a big, old rambling house on a beautiful pond. We spend many days there in the summer kayaking, fishing or just hanging out on their sunny porch. Precious memories are made each and every time the kids spend time with them, and the best part is the memories are all about the simple pleasures of life-making homemade chocolate chip cookies, picking raspberries in their garden or sitting at the kitchen table making pictures that Grandma can hang on her fridge!

Time moves so darn quickly that it's easy to take these things for granted, but each Christmas I make my mother and Brian's mother a scrapbook of the previous year and this year when I was working on my mother-in-law's, it really hit me about what a blessing grandparents are and how so many kids don't even get to know their grandparents while growing up for a variety of reasons. With Brian's parents in their 80's now, the fact of the matter is, these times need to be treasured so that when they aren't here, the memories and lessons we've all learned from them will live on.

Ok, ok, I know that's all kind of deep-so an easy way to keep it relatively simple is to just enjoy the moments that we do things with them. This coming weekend we are going to have dinner with my in-laws after church. The pond is now frozen and perfect for ice skating, so the kids will be able to slide around to the best of their ability on the ice and then come inside for the best hot cocoa ever (Grandma also happens to be an awesome cook, especially anything with chocolate!). Such a simple thing, but it will be a sweet memory for my kids one day.

Yikes----that gets me thinking that some day I'll be the one making those kinds of memories with my kids' kids! I won't rush it! But I'm glad I am already thinking ahead about how each stage of being a mother (and someday grandmother) offers a new opportunity to leave these kinds of simple gifts and memories with our children. It truly does go by so quickly-when we can stop and appreciate the moments for what they really are-it makes the journey of parenthood so much more real and fulfilling.

If you have grandparents involved in your children's lives, stop for a second and think about how special that is! With a new year here, I'm going to try and focus more on the people in my life, not the "to do" lists, material things and the goals that I'm hoping will happen. Without the special family members and friends that touch us throughout the year, the rest of that really doesn't matter!

Take care everyone!
   ~ Cheryl

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