I sometimes forget how much my grandsons are growing up. Having them overnight this weekend, I am overjoyed at their changes. It is as if every time we see them, there is something new to uncover in their development. And yet we fully know the next time, there will be more to discover.
What a joy to be able to still see the pure happiness as simply getting attention from us,their grandparents! Nobody else, but our dog, reacts quite that way to being around us. It so reminds me of the love and happiness I felt so many years ago on those nights I spent with my Grandma Gliatti. She gave such undivided attention to her grand kids that it made each of us feels, at times, as if we were her favorite.
The two boys, just like my cousins, Ty and Jake are as different as day and night. And their preferences of which of my husband and I’s attention they lean towards are too. The younger one is all about his Grandpa Jim. Jake will try to taste anything on his grandpa’s plate, wants him sitting next to him every minute of the day and just can’t seem to get enough of his attention. The admiration is adorable to watch. Jim is so mild mannered and this little boy is so exuberant around him! With grandpa, the answer always seems to be yes, he can’t easily say no to someone so darn cute! Jake wants on his lap and wants him laughing all the time and proud of who he is. And his grandpa is, extremely proud of who Jake is developing into! When he comes to grandma, I take the backseat.
Ty, the older of the two, seems more sensitive- natured, like my son was as a young child. He is attuned to Grandma. He will listen to pretty much anything I say if he needs corrected. If Grandpa wants him to do anything, he will listen but his preference is always me. He will come up on a whim and love on me, make me put my arms around him and smile his engaging way that melts my heart. He listens so well, obeys instructions one time stated and wants to always check on where I am at in the house.
One of the biggest changes we saw is the sibling rivalry, the boys tufts. As grandparents, it should be rather annoying, the arguing. For some reason, it is somewhat amusing. We
know, from watching their parents, they don’t always intervene. How amazing that already we are seeing their ability to work some issues out on their own. We looked at each other as if to ask, how did that happen? Mind you, this was not an occurrence every time! Watching a 4 and 5 year old argue is educational as their verbal and reasoning skills are not quite up to par. But it is a reminder of the importance of conflict resolution and how it is experimented first at home as a youngster, so normal that we all go through it.
At times, they can fight and be unrelenting in their demands. Other times, they totally acquiesce to each other. And in the middle is our 115 lb. dog who had no idea what to make of it. He backs away so as not to get caught up in the battle. We think Charley was afraid to take sides because he just loves them both so much. But he stays close by because he does not want anyone to get hurt or see anyone cry.
We have no idea why but at this stage in our grandson’s development, they can ward off our
dog fine on their own. We are baffled at how that happened. It seems like just yesterday we were still yelling at Charley go leave them alone or locking him in the bedroom as their food is within his snout’s reach.
This visit, both boys let him have it if he got near their food. Charley even seemed to he sense these big boys were not going to take it from him. They each have their own style but they reprimanded him themselves and he acted as if he was shamed and would quietly retreat, eventually laying down. His disappointment over our grandsons calling the shots was evident in his demeanor. No more easy fixings on food.
No matter what goes on in our lives, their laughter makes the world seem brighter. There really is nothing more rewarding than being around children that you know come from a loving home and are getting fostered in a way that lets their personality shine through. Jake and Ty have that, all that and more. The joy they feel in living is contagious and shows in every move they make. Children need and thrive in loving homes and environments. All of us can affect children and the future by helping stimulate that vibe in children we come in contact with whether we are related to them or not. Do your part, be attentive to a child.
P.S. Surviving cancer gave me this opportunity, to be a grandmother. Not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for that blessing. I hope I leave my grandchildren with wonderful memories like my grandmother gave me.