Making Grandparent Memories

After a week of hugs, kisses, more fun than we can recount, plus the occasional mini-tantrums, our younger daughter, hubby, and three year old granddaughter have departed. I'll likely spend the next couple of days attempting to put the house back in order, and we are both exhausted and sick (we can never seem to escape getting sick around our granddaughter!), plus hubby has a gorgeous black eye, the result of an accidental head bump with our granddaughter while playing hide n seek.

We wouldn't have missed any of it for the world.

So, so many memories were made, and we feel a renewed sense of thankfulness that we'd decided to relocate closer to the coast earlier this year in that we were at the ocean almost daily during their visit. On their last night here yesterday, we zipped over to the harbor, which was resplendent with Christmas lights, and which tickled my granddaughter to her toes.

What was hard
- Watching my pristine home look more ragged by the day.
- Crumbs constantly underfoot in that my daughter is very relaxed about where our granddaughter eats.
- No down time in that our granddaughter has seemingly endless energy, and at newly three is of the age where absolutely everything in the world excites her.

What was wonderful
- More hugs, kisses, and 'I Love You's' than I could possibly count.
- Decorating cookies together.
- Teaching her how to slide along our wood floors while wearing socks.
- Going from clinging firmly to Nana upon encountering the ocean for the first time to shouting, 'Ready, Set, Go!!!' by the end as we would race toward, then away from the waves.
- Learning to climb rocks, bravely jumping high in the air off of them by the end of the week.
- Playing 'fishy' in our HOA swimming pool.
- Running to the hot water (i.e., hot tub) to warm up before racing back to the 'cold pool' (see above) for more fishy play.
- Finding every single thing at our nighttime visit to our county's unofficial outdoor shopping and fun center, the Irvine Spectrum Center, to be unbearably exciting; 'Nana, a carousel!, Nana, a fountain!, Nana, twinkle lights!, Nana, la luna!, Nana, pizza!, Nana, cat cookies (at the Hello Kitty Cafe)!'
- Endless play in our backyard fountain.
- Watching the tide and fog roll in together one memorable afternoon at the harbor.
- Absolute enchantment with every Christmas light she encountered.
- Absolute enchantment with our Christmas tree, which we put up the day after Thanksgiving.
- Helping me unpack our ornaments after I explained how to do so gently, mesmerized by each and every one as she handled them.
- Watching her excitement the night we built a fire in the backyard.
- Watching her excitedly pick out a mermaid doll the afternoon we took her to the Ocean Institute, which she then lugged around everywhere we went for the remainder of the week.
- Working on small puzzles together.
- Listening to her tell me that, 'Mama has a baby in her belly,' and that she hoped it was a baby sister.
- Singing 'Happy Birthday' together every time we encountered balloons.
- Pushing her on the swing at the beach one day, watching her lean back and close her eyes in ecstasy.
- Her joy each time she encountered a surfer; watching intently after each wipeout to ensure they emerged safely from the water.
- Total bliss on her face as Nana poured some colored sprinkles on top of her strawberry frozen yogurt.
- The joy on her face each time a train passed during a walk along the beach in San Clemente one day, where the train tracks run close along the ocean. 'Trains go Choo Choo, Nana,' she would solemnly announce afterward.
- A car! A truck! A fire engine! A plane! A boat! Each sound she heard produced an absolutely thrill of delight.
- Listening to a Christmas caroler at the harbor, who upon seeing all the children gathered round broke into a rousing chorus of How Far I'll Go from Disney's Moana.

So as they depart today for home, and the house falls silent, my heart is beyond sad in spite of the work and chaos of this past week. We have lots of fun events to look forward to over the coming holiday season, but I think my husband and I would both happily trade them all in were we given the opportunity to spend more time with our girl instead.

Come tomorrow I'm sure we'll be back to our old selves, but today our sweet girl will be lingering in our minds as we slowly put the house back together, and sadly adjust to her energetic presence no longer being here.

See you soon our little one.


  1. What a wonderful time you had!

    1. So wonderful. Would give anything to have them move closer. I don't really love the east coast enough to move there, though, so we do the best we can.

  2. Such touching post, Tamara. Your love for your granddaughter seemed to leap out of the page. Congrats for being grandma the second time! Your heart will expand even more once you meet the new family member.

    1. We are excited about little #2 for sure, Natalie! It will be fun watching our granddaughter take on the role of big sister.

  3. I notice that the "hard" list is far shorter than the "wonderful" list, of course. When my nephew was young I remember my mom saying she was so glad he was gone but she missed him already. I came to experience that feeling. The "glad" part was connected to the need for a rest after experiencing the energy of the preschoolers. Connecting and making memories is what it's all about and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

    1. Yep, the hard part is short, but necessary to get to the wonderful part I think. The best feeling in the world is when her little body is relaxed next to mine doing whatever it is we're doing, because she has complete trust in her Nana, and knows her Nana will never, ever let her down. :-)

  4. So sweet that you could visit you and you could make such great memories. I love how you broke down the list...I need to get my act together and just get Christmas out so i can put my house back together!

    1. Sarah, you reminded me just now that when my girls were young and at home, I would often spend two to three days decorating the house in preparation for Christmas. So much fun, and such wonderful memories!

  5. What a post. You need to print this one on pretty paper and save it in an envelope for your granddaughter to read and keep forever. Although we don't have an ocean and beach to explore, I could just about say "ditto" for each of the activities shared in some similar form or fashion with my grands. Our babies' joy and exuberance with everything is delightful and exhausting! And what's with these new moms allow their kids to graze all over the house. I was so girls had to sit at the table and most nights we didn't even have the TV on!

    1. I sincerely don't get the grazing concept, and did ask that we keep her food within the kitchen/family room areas at least. We never ate with the TV on, unless it was a special movie night dinner event, nor, thankfully does my daughter. We grew up talking at dinner, and I am happy my daughter and her growing family appear to do same. My granddaughter absolutely loves sitting with everyone at meal times, as do all children I think.


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