I have the best of both worlds.
Two hands full.
Of course, life with/for them is sometimes stressful, frustrating and difficult, as well but my daughter can better attest to that aspect. When it comes to Gida (that's me), life with the grands is pure bliss. I'm not the kind of grandmother who takes the kids to church or sits in a rocking chair to read a story or bakes cookies, pies and cakes but I do schedule, spend and enjoy quality time with them. And I must admit, they are great little people to be around.
My oldest grandchild is an outgoing, talkative, busy, inquisitive, energetic, beautiful, intelligent, outspoken little girl who has personality for days. She loves to take pictures, of herself and others. She enjoys all the lil girly things, like nail polish and pretty clothes, yet she will get down in the dirt or climb the highest tree right along with the boys. She makes a friend wherever she goes and her 'claim to fame' is telling it like it is. She is known as our 'grandiva,' and at just five years old, she lives up to every letter of that name.
My grandson, aka the grandada, is 3 months shy of 2 years old and is quite the character, in his own right. He is the yin to his big sister's yang. Where she's loud & obnoxious, he's cool, calm & collected. Where she's sensitive and tender, he's strong and tough. She pushes him down, he gets back up.....and still worships the ground she walks on. In real life and play, she's the teacher and he's the attentive student; which has been a blessing and a curse. In trying to keep up with 'Sis' (as he calls her), he quickly learned to walk, talk and throw tantrums. He communicates well, with words and in sentences, asserts his independence regularly, commands and demands attention. He also loves the camera and knows how to take selfies, is quite skilled in basketball and is already a heartthrob.
It's truly amazing, how smart and insightful these two kids are. No, seriously. I'm really not just saying this because they are mine. Every time I am with them, I learn something new. Whenever I am around them, they remind me, or give me new reasons, why they are so awesome. Make no mistake, I'm not one of those grandparents who thinks every little thing they do is cute, wonderful and supercallifragilisticexpialidocious. I do redirect, correct and discipline them, when necessary. However, even in their brattiest moments, I think they are the best kids ever. From the start, being a grandparent has been a beautiful and incomparable experience. There really are no words to fully describe just how special grand-love is. I often tell people, "It's love on a whole 'nother level." The feelings I get when they exclaim my name or hug me ever-so-tightly or give me sweet, butterfly kisses are like sunbursts to my soul. One day, I learned, those sunbursts come through even when the grands are not around.
Perched upon my desk at work are two frames of the grandiva and grandada together; one photo of them in their holiday best and the other, their fashionable school flick. This particular day wasn't special or extraordinary; nor was it the first time I looked at (those particular) pictures of my grandchildren. I just happened to glance that way and, once they caught my attention, I lingered for a moment and smiled. Then, suddenly, I felt a lump in my throat and tears began to sting my eyes. There was a swirling in my chest and I thought, 'What the hell is going on here?!' I was overwhelmed with emotion. I literally had to talk myself out of crying. Once the moment passed, I laughed and shook my head at myself for being such a sap.
It was in that moment I realized, with that kind of joy in my world, life surely is grand!