Sunday, March 5, 2017

On Grandparenting: Treading New Waters

Grandparents have changed a lot since I was a baby.

My grandmother was 65 when I was born -- the same age as I am now.

I think you could say we have the same hips. And if I didn't have Paula-the-Hair-Goddess I would probably have the same hair. (Rick reminded me of that. Thanks heaps, Rick.) No, I wouldn't. Even if it was white as snow it would be cut funky.

I remember when Greg and Kevin's mom remarried. Her parents took the boys whitewater rafting. Grandparents. Whitewater rafting. Can you imagine any of the three above doing that?

 When my parents left me at Grandma and Grandpa's, we baked. We picked corn. We colored.

And that was good. While I never had the same kinship with my mom's dad that I did with Dad's parents, my cousin John, seven years older than I and a boy, spent countless hours fishing and enjoying his company at the lake.

All of this makes me think about being a grandparent to little Carson and how we will be part of his life. Rick is ready to take him camping. And you can bet that when he gets a bicycle, you know who will be leading the charge. Back when Rick was 16, he and his brother went on their first long bike ride-- 350 miles -- from Toledo to Portsmouth, Ohio and back to Columbus on a long weekend -- no parents involved . A different time.

But to be perfectly honest, I have no idea how to be a grandparent. I don't even know how to change a diaper, though Rick says it's not hard. I've never dealt with babies. I've hardly ever held one. I'm used to holding a Cat Diva who would prefer not to be held and makes no bones about it. So, I'm anxious. But fortunately he sleeps a lot!

I want to be a fun grandperson, the kind they want to visit because we make magic. And probably spoil him a little. A lot. Rick can be the outdoorsy one. As for me, I have a feeling we'll go back to what I know. We'll bake. We'll color. We'll read and draw. And little Carson will get to see the lake and discover stones and leaves and build castles in the sand.

Actually, Rick is getting the reading thing going already.

And someday, his grandpa and I will take him to a train -- just like Kevin enjoyed when he was little, long before I came along.

And we'll probably have more fun than we could imagine because the pressure is off. And for me, it'll be all new. When Kevin and Greg came into my life they were older -- seven and nine. The closest thing I have to a perpetual three year old is Lizzie. And I think they are quite different.

Meanwhile, Rick is SO over the moon about all this. Little Carson may be the best thing that ever happened to him!

So, pretty soon, this little guy will wake up. In a year or so he'll crawl or maybe walk. Maybe talk. He's going to get fun. Meanwhile, adorable is good enough for us!

I told you in the last post that I'd show a photo or two of the beautiful Molly!

And our gang.

Trust me, this won't be a baby blog. But I had to share this and get it out of my system!


  1. You'l be as unique a grandma as we all are. Kids jut want to be with you no matter what you are doing and you can be sure they will want to help. I find my most precious moments with mine is when we are outside discovering things. It's the best. Loved the photos of your grandparents. Aren't they such treasures now. Just be sure to take lots of photos of your times together with Carson. Momma looks well rested already. :) Enjoy him.

  2. Of course you had to share it, baby Carson is gorgeous, as are his family, and you have every right to be a proud grandma - enjoy the time! Hugs, Valerie

  3. No doubt in my mind . . .
    You will be an outstanding grandparent . . .
    You'll take to it like "a fish to water" . . .
    Beautiful handsome little babe . . .
    Absolutely beyond wonderful first grandchild post . . .
    Love . . . Loved seeing the new little one
    and the history right there in the
    "rest of the story!"

  4. Your gang looks lovely and so happy. Congratulations to all of you - I imagine it is exciting and fun to have the first grandchild. I hope one day I will be a grandparent, and like you I hope to be a fun one.
    My two grandmothers weren't exactly fun. There was a deep sadness about them. Both of them were refugees and have experienced very hard times and seen things that is beyond our imagination. I only know one of my granddads since my mom's dad died when she was 18. However, I loved my grandpa like crazy, he was fun and a wonderful storyteller. He passed away when I was 8 and I always remember him in that childlike perception.
    My parents in return were amazing grandparents to my daughter until they passed away. My in-laws, who are still alive, unfortunately not so much.

  5. The world has changed in so many ways... this one, I think, is for the better!

    best... mae at

  6. Grandparenting is the best! Just listening and getting down on their level to play is often enough. As they get older, sharing interests like art and the outdoors entices them to visit. Four of mine are here for the weekend to ski. We have a houseful of Grands nearly every weekend. Bob says if he knew Grandchildren would be such fun, he'd have had them first! All the fun and you can hand them back after a few hours or days! Little Carson is a lucky boy!

  7. Such a gift, this little guy.
    This sweet one is soooooo lucky to have you and Rick
    as his grandparents. You'll be amazing:) The best.
    Grateful for this next chapter in your life.
    You're quite a lovely grammy:)

  8. What a wonderful addition to your family!! I just know you'll be the best grandperson! He'll have at least as much fun visiting you as you did baking and spending time with your grandparents! I love those old pictures. Aren't they are treasure to have?

  9. It is a new world, isn't it? Exciting and scary too. I guess we each need to make our own paths. You'll be a wonderful grandmother and Carson is one lucky baby for sure. And Rick looks like he's already enjoying being a Grandfather. Have fun and enjoy. Hugs-Erika

  10. Carson is gorgeous! You will love being a Grandparent. Just love them and spoil them and you will do fine. I love reading to mine and just spending time with them playing. It truly is the best thing that ever happened to me. Hugs!

  11. Your friends have said it all - and beautifully. Talked to Rick this afternoon and he sounds as proud as your pictures portray Have a blessed day and a lifetime of fun with Carson Love to you all. Kitty

  12. Rick sure looks like a proud poppa! It is so fun to have new life! You'll be great as a grandma! Let Rick change the diapers since he knows what he is doing. ;) It's been fun to watch my parents become grandparents. Several of my nephews call my mom "grandma lake" because that is where they tend to see her. Maybe you'll be the same to little Carson! My grandma lived just down the road from me so I spent a lot of time with her when I was growing up, and my grandpa had a shop next to our house where he rebuilt engines. So I was very blessed to get to know that set of grandparents well. I loved going to their house because my grandma would give us fruit roll-ups and my grandpa would give us a coke (which was a big deal as that's something we NEVER drank at our house). What I remember most is having their ear, though. As 1 of 5, I had to share my parents attention but I got a lot of 1 on 1 time with my grandparents and they were so fascinated with whatever I had to say!

  13. Jeannie-congratulations-you will be a great grandmother and he is a lucky little boy to have you in his life. He is quite handsome. You can teach him how to bake, colour, be kind to people and enjoy life.

  14. You sound a lot like me. You and I don't know how to change a diaper, and I refuse to learn. I tell people if I want to change a diaper, I'll have a baby of my own. You are more willing to learn, because you have a beautiful new person to experiment on.

    I was raised by grandparents, and we seldom did things outside the home. But the nightly meals are what I miss the most. We would sit for hours and discuss the day, the events in the outside world, and what each of us did that day. Then there was also a wonderful "teaser" my grandmother would come up with, like discuss the Vietnam problem, or why/why not President Nixon should be removed from office. So things will still be interesting for you as you maneuver your way through this new role. Just keep those bright colors coming, so little Carson will have something to focus on.

  15. I'm very happy for y'all and I just know you're going to be a wonderful grandma! We each grandparent in our own way. I do know that I absolutely love being a Ma-Maw and it has brought such joy to my life. Positively one of the best blessings of my life! P.S.--love the sweet pictures!

  16. You are going to be a fantastic Grandperson and that little chap is so lucky to have you, what a wonderful picture of you and the babe and the one with his Mum and him looking straight into her eyes, magical x

  17. No problem with the share, I love it! What a lucky little boy Carson is to have you and Rick in his life. I know he will love doing just about anything you want to share with him, maybe even some art. Now wouldn't that be fun?!!

  18. First time grandparents? Of course you need to share that adorable little man!! Sometimes I just marvel over the old pictures you show. That first one of your grandparents - could have been mine - same two people, same kind of home with the piano in the background and even similar rocking chairs!
    I'm sure you will be just the right kind of grandma! And yes, changing diaper isn't hard. -Jenn

  19. Grandparenting is flat out one of the best things on earth. Both you and Rick will enrich Carson's life in your own ways and will have a ball doing it.

  20. Awww, Jeanie, I love this. The family - all of you - looks so comfortable and happy. I love that you will be yourself with little Carson. And little Carson will be a better person for all that you contribute to his influence as he grows.

  21. There's no one right way to be a grandparent, and you'll learn in time what the right way is for you. For example, one of my grandmothers used to read Peter Rabbit stories to us, and taught me how to knit and sew (and later how to do cross stitch), while the other bonded with me over our love of animals and country music.

    You love Carson already... We can tell that just from reading your posts. That's all you need to be a perfect grandparent: love for your grandchild, and the desire to spend time with them. The rest will come in its own time... Let it happen naturally.

  22. First off I want to say that Carson is a gorgeous baby and the photos of him and Rick would make any heart melt. You'll both bring so much into his life, you might be a novice granny, Jeanie but you look like someone who knows what she's doing, how blessed he is.
    My granny looked like yours when she was 65 and whilst I might not be up to whitewater rafting these days I think I'm not doing too badly for 66.
    But.... when your post appeared on my sidebar I was so intrigued.... grandpa renting?? What the heck is that?
    It doesn't take much to amuse me as you can see!

  23. They are so beautiful as a family and so are you two w/ carson.
    I have no words..just to tell you that t all comes naturally..and the head over heels is part of the beautiful package.
    In French we have a saying..l'amour avec le GRAND A..that's what is is..

    you will only have eyes for him♥

    And what cute pics of you both as children.a.dn all the great other pics you have.

  24. OH Jeanie, I have no doubt you will be a fabulous grand mommy. Just think of all the fun things you will do, teaching arts and crafts and painting! You will do fine in the changing department too, practice!!!!! Enjoy every moment, time flies. A lovely couple and beautiful baby.........Congratulations.

  25. So happy for you, Jeannie. You will soon be over the moon too. It comes very naturally as there is nothing better than their soft skin and sweetness.
    I didn't know how to change a diaper either because I never babysat a baby but you learn quickly. Aren't we lucky there are no diaper pins and folding anymore. I really would have been a sad case back then.
    Look forward to many more grandmother and baby pictures.

  26. I loved this blog post! Absolutely loved it! I loved the comparison to grandparents from our day. I laughed out loud at the sentence about your grandparents going rafting with a grandchild. Yes, grandparenting today is so different from the past.

    Before I even finished reading your blog, I was thinking how you would be that grandparent who makes magic. I was thinking how you would just do what you do: bake, color, make things, explore, and see things. And, that is exactly what you said you would do with Baby Carson. You are a natural. You will do great.

    Rick is over the moon. Who wouldn't be with such an absolutely adorable baby as his very first grandchild happens to be. This post is priceless. Congratulations to you all.

  27. You look a natural already Jeanie, what a cutie! Congratulations to you all, enjoy this special time!
    Wren x

  28. Oh, my gosh, you're gonna have fun. He's adorable. He will love you and all your crafts and fun-making ways. Pay attention, because they grow up fast. Being a grandparent is more fun than anything I've ever done.

  29. What a beautiful baby! Heaps of congratulations. I was 42 when my son was born, and I was never that much into babies, But, when I first held him it was the most wonderful thing that ever happened to me. Still twenty years later I am amazed. Babies are such miracles and very fast they form a personality of their own.
    In Sweden we have a saying about being a grand parent: It is the dessert of life. You have no responsibility, you just enjoy and spoil them whenever you can. Grandparents are allowed to spoil their grandchildren!

  30. Grandparents = whitewater rafting??!!?? I didn't know grandparents did things like that? I don't know any parents who do that! LOL... WOW... I think, in time, you are going to be that FUN grandma...I'm very sure of it! I can see you and little C sharing a lot of creativity and art together. You're going to be the grandma he bakes brownies with and tinkers in the kitchen with. Yes, I can see it now! ;) And it is never to early for reading aloud and sharing books--Rick's got a good start there! Oh, how happy I am for you all! :) The photos speak of so much HAPPY! And sooo happy to see the happy new little family, all three together!! I didn't have a very close relationship with any of my grandparents. Both my grandfathers died when I was quite young, so I have no real memories of them. My grandmothers were emotionally-remote folk (and one did live far away from us)... so there was never any fun times, or even any real learning experience with my grandmothers. It makes me a little sad when I think back. As I see my parents loving their role as grandparents. It's just something I never really experiences, and which would have been nice. TJ & I don't have children, and so we'll not have that experience ourselves. But with kitty Luna we do have the forever toddler experience, so that does us good! ;) Thanks for sharing so much, Jeanie...loved this! ((BIG HUGS))

  31. Grandkids are the best thing ever! Do whatever is fun for you and the little guy. He will let you know what he likes! I see him making eye contact with his mom, and that's one of the most heartwarming things our first grandchild did with each of us. It felt like a gift. Enjoy!

  32. Oh my goodness... what a beauty! And what a wonderful grandmother you'll make. When my niece and nephew were little, I too worried about being a 'fun auntie' (not having any kids of my own) so I went down to the dollar store and bought lots of fun little things for their visit. Then I wrapped each of them, wrote one of their initials on each and hid them around the yard for a treasure hunt. Needless to say, THEY LOVED IT!! Like Easter, only toys. Trust me... you'll be the favorite grandma! And btw, was so excited today to find your family history blog. Left you a long comment there I think you'll enjoy. Have a fantastic day!

  33. Oh Jeanie, WOW! First of all, how I wished I had grandparents. My father was old enough to be my grandfather! But I had no siblings and OLD cousins on my dad's side, and certainly no grandparents. How exciting though, to see your photos and to see YOU now in the same shoes. Fashions change but the role of a grandparent will always be a fond one of that extra dose of love. AH!

  34. Guess what? There's no one way, and no "right" way to be a grandparent. Love is the key, and being yourself. And don't forget: the best part of grandparenting is that you get to spoil them, and then send them home to be with their parents. Some people deny that's an advantage, but I think they know in their hearts it is! Happy moving on!

  35. Jeanie, these pictures are precious of you and your new grandbaby. And the one of Rick reading to the baby is such a beautiful picture. What a lovely family they have. Oh, and that picture of the little one on the train really got to me. My grandfather worked for the railroad, so I am very interested in it. The picture of you in the water is just so sweet. You had curly hair, like me. : ) It surprises me how many wonderful pictures you have from when you were little. I have a few, but not nearly as much as I'd like.


  36. Loved this post and the one before!!! All these photos are so happy. So nice to see these days. I know that you will be a wonderful grandparent. You have so many interests and talents. Share your passion. You will be sure to make some wonderful memories. For sure, this is better than any Oscar! So glad I stopped by. .

  37. Awww... Jeanie, what a darling post. I have a deep feeling that even tho you haven't had much experience with babies that Carson's going to think that you are the best Grandma in the world. You already look like a pro in that darling picture holding him!!

  38. CONGRATULATIONS!!! you will be a great grandparent ♥ I am sure of it dear Jeanie!
    What a precious little poppet Carson is.
    What a blessing a new life is and such a lucky little boy to be born into a family that will Love and cherish him all of his days.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Your photos are always special.
    Enjoy * Enjoy this exciting new addition to the family oxoxo

  39. Oh what a beautiful world you have just entered. Relax breathe and just love on him. HE is sooooo beautiful. Congratulations

  40. O you have bragging rights and we're not tired of looking at baby pics esp. one so beautiful, baby and everyone. Thanks for sharing, Jeanie.

  41. Grandparents are incredible people. I had very different relationship with each one of mine, and I wouldn't change that for anything.

    My mom's dad and stepmom died in a car accident when I was six, but I still remember them doing things like letting me have my orange juice in a coffee mug with a spoon because I loved the noise the spoon made against the mug, and him taking us shoe shopping, and her brushing my hair. They were SO excited to be grandparents, and I think they managed to pack a lot of grandparent things into just six years.

    My dad's mom is who taught me how to cook and bake. She taught me most of what I know about cooking for a crowd of people and planning dinners. She's also who I get my love of books and writing from, I think.

    My dad's dad was who taught me to ride my bike (it didn't go well when my parents tried), and taught me not to be so afraid when I was learning to drive. He was retired military, so he's also who we all learned to cuss from. He was a huge animal person, so I think he's at least part of why my pets are rescues.

    My mom's mom taught me all about bargain shopping, and how to make the world's best pumpkin pie. She was all about being a grandmother, so she also spoiled us. She had a never ending supply of gum (my mom hates it and wouldn't let us have it), and wrote the best letters.

    Sorry for commenting with a novel, but just be the kind of grandparent you think is best. The luckiest kids are the ones who have a variety of grandparents and are able to learn and experience different things from all of them.

  42. Good Morning Jeanie!
    I am a little behind the times in officially congratulating you on your newest addition to the family! As you know I have been off in Oklahoma taking care of our 3 month old and 4 month grandgirls for a week, and before you know it this will be your life too!
    Creating magic is exactly my motto as well. I have always envisioned myself as sort of Mary Poppins type grandmother and thus far have been able to pull it off quite well.
    My Mother did the same as she lived in Idaho on our family farm and every Summer our 4 children and myself would make the migration to the family farm and to see mom & dad. Mother would always have a decorative plate of heavily frosted sugar cookies waiting for the children. Her nails were freshly painted pink and my oldest daughter was always impressed.
    This is a beautiful and blessed new chapter for you Jeanie and I am so happy for you!

  43. What a beautiful post, Jeanie. You look quite natural to me holding that baby. "I want to be a fun grandperson, the kind they want to visit because we make magic." Perfect.


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