Thursday, July 19, 2012

What Happens At Grandma's Stays At Grandma's

 It doesn’t matter whether I have them for an evening or an entire weekend—I love spending time with my grandchildren. I have to tell you they are the best-behaved children in the world. They are just great children. I love them, I love the idea of them, and I love my time with them.

It’s funny how your perspective changes from the time you’re a parent to the time you become a grandparent: Grandkids give us the opportunity to have fun in a whole new way. Having raised our own kids, we have the insight and wisdom to savor the special moments with our grandchildren we might have missed—or didn’t have time to appreciate—while whirling through the jam-packed days of parenthood.

So what do I do to make the most of my time with my grandkids?

If they’re spending the night, I make sure we have all kinds of fun. I’ll take them to movies, the play center, and out to breakfast. We love to go places where they can burn some healthy energy. They play games and usually I’ll get involved with them, especially when we have a talent show. We just have the best time!

We’ll either go out to eat or I’ll cook at home. A special part of our evening is dessert, and it’s not necessarily sweets that we enjoy. I’ll squirt whipped cream in their mouths, put it on a plate and then dunk their heads in it, which leads to many laughs as you can imagine! Here’s a picture of us taken at our most recent sleepover as we were enjoying our whipped cream revelry!

We talk about all sorts of things, we laugh, play and share. It’s good for all of us. I let them be who they are and I try to promote the positive so they’re comfortable expressing themselves and relishing the pure joys of childhood. Naturally, a night out with Bubbe calls for a bit of silliness, so we like to use made-up names. I’ll make up a name for myself and then when they call me “La La,” I won’t know who the heck they’re talking to! They keep me on my toes.

At bedtime, we all sleep together in my bedroom. With pads on the floor and a huge blow-up bed, the scene looks like a dormitory. The kids wait until I fall asleep (they can hear my snoring!), and then play until 1 in the morning, surrendering to sleep only after they’ve worn themselves out. Sure, they fight sometimes, but the kids work it out and the fun begins anew in the morning.

When the time comes for the children to return to their parents, I always ask, “How was the sleepover?” They always give me a thumbs-up or say it was the “best one ever.” I’ll ask how that’s possible, and they giggle, “it doesn’t matter, Bubbe, it was the best one ever!” I’ll have to agree—and I keep on smiling until the next time.

Family plays a huge part of a healthy, balanced life, and the close connections we share and the time we spend together nourish our soul and bring us meaning. When it comes to grandchildren, the blessings couldn’t be richer. I have an absolutely wonderful time with my grandkids, and I think it’s pretty clear they love their time with their Bubbe, too—whipped cream on their faces and all!

How do you treasure your time with the special children in your life?

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