Wednesday, January 07, 2015

If you don't like cute grandbaby stories, go read something else

Let's throw rocks in the creek!
When my granddaughter first learned to climb out of her crib, my daughter found her stacking diapers and clothes by the front door. Why? "Pack pack grandma grampa," she explained. She wanted to come and visit us!

Excuse me while I dance around the room and holler "Yes!"

My primary goal as a grandparent is quite simple: I want to have a relationship with my grandchildren. For reasons both complex and unbloggable, I never spent much time with my grandparents and my children never spent much time with theirs. From the moment my family started to grow and scatter, though, I was determined to break the family tradition of distance and discomfort.

And it seems to have worked. My granddaughter has been to our house often enough to know where to find things--toys and books and grampa's yellow flashlight--and she's even starting to distinguish amongst the various birds that come to the feeders. 

Now that she's climbing, though, I look at our house with different eyes, seeking out ways to encourage exploration while thwarting solitary wandering. It's what I always wanted for my own children: a long enough leash to let them wander freely plus a secure enough connection to draw them safely home.

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