Category Archives: Grandparenthood

Five Little Apple Seeds

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Ethan, my five-year-old grandson, was eating an apple and was intent on saving the five little seeds from the middle.  He said he wanted to plant them and grow apple trees of his own. He carefully picked out the seeds, laid them on a napkin, and asked me to write, “Do Not Throw Away.  Save for Ethan to plant.”

Early the next day, we decided to do the chore of planting his little seeds.  We walked around the yard with Ethan’s twin brother Carter following on his bike and observing.  I asked Carter if he wanted to help plant the seeds, to which he replied, “No.” “Why?” I asked. He said he wanted to ride his bike instead. So Ethan and I found a perfect spot between Ethan’s two favorite trees.  Carter followed us back and forth to the shed as we got a shovel. “Carter, would you like to help us dig the holes?” “No,” was his reply. Ethan and I dug two holes – one to plant three seeds and one to plant the other two.  “Carter, do you want to help us plant the seeds?”  “No,” he replied as he twirled his bike around the trees. We placed the seeds gently inside the holes.  We covered the seeds with dirt and went to fetch some water.  Ethan filled up a bucket, and together, he and I carried the bucket to water the seeds with Carter riding close beside us on his bike. Ethan started watering the seeds.  “Carter, would you like to help water.”  “No.”

We went back to the shed to get some peat moss to put on top of the mounds where the seeds were buried. “Won’t it be fun to pick your own apples from your own trees? I asked.  Ethan nodded his head smiling and working diligently to shovel the peat moss onto the mounds as Carter watched.

“Carter, did you ever hear the story of the “Little Red Hen?” I asked.  Again, “No.” Well, I explained, the little red hen found some wheat and asked for help from the other farmyard animals to plant it, but they refused.  When it had grown, the hen asked for help to harvest it and they said no.  Then she made it into flour by herself and asked for help mixing the dough and baking it into bread and each time they said no. Carter looked at me pensively.  “Well, I continued, “when that yummy bread was baked and cooling and the aroma started traveling out the window, all those farmyard animals who wouldn’t help came and wanted a piece of the delicious bread, and guess what?  The little red hen said “no” since none of them had helped her with the hard work.  Carter looks at me and says, “I don’t like apples anyway,” and rode around the tree.

The final phase of the apple seeds planting involved gathering some stones and two sticks to mark where they were planted.  Ethan eagerly looked around for the stones.  Carter looked at me, and I asked, “Are you sure you don’t want to help us gather the stones?”  He says, “OK,” and rides his bike back and forth from where the stones were, giving us handfuls to mark the plantings. Ethan put a stick on one mound, and Carter gets off of his bike and put a stick on the other.

“We sure are going to enjoy some yummy apples when these trees grow,” I comment.  Ethan smiles broadly and nods and so does Carter. Then Ethan and I hopped on our bikes and enjoyed a ride with Carter several times around the yard.

I sure do hope those seeds grow.

 

THE GREATEST LOVE I EVER KNEW…

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greatest…just happened to come in two!

From the late-night phone call nervously announcing their impending premature birth, to running frantically through the airport barefoot (no time to put my shoes back on) as I try frantically to catch the next plane to Florida, to the long ride to the hospital and past the four security checkpoints, to the maternity room for my first “love at first sight moment” with these two precious little baby boys, I’m hooked. Twin grandsons! Imagine that?!? Doubly blessed! Twice the love!

Now I’m this grandmom-type person called “Mimi.” As any grandparent will tell you, there is absolutely nothing that can describe that proverbial soft spot you immediately develop in your heart the first time you see them and hold them. As you breathe in their sweet scent, the joyful tears pour from your eyes as a knot forms in your throat. You remain speechless, sobbing uncontrollably as you kiss their precious, little heads for the first time and gaze at them in wonder.

I have to tell you this brand new role as granny is pretty darned cool! It’s indescribable. It’s the next best thing to becoming a parent, only better! This all-encompassing capacity to love is surprising, especially coming from a jaded heart that’s almost given up on love. I’ve turned into a pile of mush, wanting to do nothing else but cuddle them in my arms and protect them from the big, bad world.photo

A few months have passed since that miraculous day they entered this world. They’ve already grown in such leaps and bounds. I’m trying to slow life down so I can savor every tiny milestone, but it’s not working. I miss them when I’m not with them.  The moment I leave their house, I want to go back because I’m afraid I might miss something. The tug on my heartstrings is awful.  The greatest joy so far is the big toothless grin I get when they see me. Do they really recognize me?!  I feel like a rock star. Be still my leaping heart as my cup runneth over with love! I melt into a puddle when I hear their baby babblings as they discover their voices, which startles them at first. I can hardly take the preciousness, if that is a word. It’s just so priceless!

I’d like to gush on, but for your sake I won’t. So much more is yet to come, and I can’t wait until tomorrow to see what they’re up to and to report on their adventures!  Mostly, I can’t wait to see how long I can continue to travel on this earthly journey to watch them grow into the very best men they can be. Their parents will make sure of that. God willing, I’ll be here to see for a very long time to come.

But for now, all I want to do is rock them and sing them sweet lullabies as they contentedly suck on their bottles, looking up at me wide-eyed and curious with those big blue eyes.  They’re probably wondering who this lady is. What do you think, kids?! Just call me Mimi!