It has been a busy few weeks in the LTM household with Grandma visiting. We were lucky enough to get some sunshine when she arrived. We jumped out in it to make the most of it while it was shining. We are also lucky enough to live near so many lovely little parks within walking distance from our house. The kids were eager as soon as Grandma got here to take her around the slides & jungle gyms and show her around.
One of the things I love so much about my mother is that she loves to be silly and play. What kid doesn’t love someone being silly and chasing them around? The kids were loving Grandma at their park with them, to help them up the big kid stairs, across the ropes, and to go down the slide together. I think Grandma’s wide smile says she was having as much fun as they were with her. As I sat back watching them, I felt mixed emotions. A happy feeling that my kids were having such a special time with my mother and a sad feeling that it couldn’t be like this more often. It’s a pull in my heart but I am grateful I get to watch them together at all.
I am a positive person and have always tried to focus on the happy parts rather than the sad parts of life but when it’s right in from of me it’s hard to ignore it. I would love to have Grandma down the road to have coffee with more than one or twice a year, play with the kids or be at their events with me, and be able to hug her when I want to. I also know that it’s never going to happen and I need to focus on the times we are with Grandma and make the most of them for me and for my kids. So we do what we do best and we play hard together, we laugh loads together, we hug each other tightly every chance we get.
It was great for Grandma to see how much they have grown, learned and changed since the last time she saw them. Buba used to be afraid of these rope ladders and not be able to walk across them with her help and yet this time he was running around them independently. I didn’t realize it at first how old he looked walking across this rope ladder above until she mentioned how little he was the last time we were at this very same park where he was no older than Missy Moo is now. It just shows you how fast life goes and how precious it is too, which makes me want to value each moment more than I already do. I really stepped back from my blog and social media while she was here to give her as much of my time as I possibly could.
Buba loved that Grandma got down to his level and played the things he loves most, like trains and cars. Missy Moo followed suit. It was great to see my mother so happy with them. It’s a gift to me watching them bond like they do.
Grandma got to take a little break from chasing the kids around the park and was quick to snap a few of me and the kids playing. I often wonder what she thinks of her youngest having children of her own? I can’t imagine what it will feel like to be a grandparent watching generations below me. I have many (hopefully MANY MANY) years before I will know what it feels like but seeing this picture from her perspective was lovely. This is why I love candid photos and capturing people in the moment rather than posing all the time. I hope I am a fun mother as my own mother is and that this is how my own children see me.
Grandparents are like candy to children (in most cases they give candy too) but I say this because somehow my hyper children go even more hyper when they are with their grandparents. It’s funny to see the effect seeing Grandma has had on them. They have been smiling and laughing more than they ever have. Squealing with delight when they see her in the mornings and running around in circles before bedtime shouting for another story. Their energy has seen no end while she has been visiting. I thought the novelty of having her with us after a few days would settle them but day after day for two weeks they continued to run, jump, shout, squeal, laugh, play, smile and go crazy when they see her. I think she has felt the same. They all really made the most of being together as much as I did. It was like letting lose two wild monkeys (make that three) when we got to the park. I don’t know if it was family love or the sunshine or a bit of both that made it such an amazing memorable park visit.
I played with everyone as much as I stood back to watch them play together with their Grandma. I felt blessed for the life I have and the people that I share it with. I may complain so much about being an expat to those that are close but that doesn’t ever mean I am not so very happy with how my life turned out and that I don’t love all those that are such a big part of it, both close and far away.
I love the photo below of MM and Grandma, catching them in their moment of fun and happiness. The smile on my mother’s face melts my heart. It’s a look I recognize her giving me and my brother when we were kids and I love that she looks at my children in the same way. They are apart of her too, with her very blood running through their veins. I can feel the love from her and MM in this photo. It’s one I will cherish forever.
Buba and Missy Moo loved showing Grandma their favorite rides, slides and things to jump on. While they still wouldn’t touch the swings even for Grandma which made me sad, as I have been trying for years to get them to like them, Missy Moo at least entertained Grandma’s lap for a swing picture. I think that’s the closest I have ever got my children to being on the swings.
It’s great to get family together and see the resemblance of my children in various parts of my own family. While everyone says Buba and MM look like Mr P and his family, I do see so much of my brother in Buba and myself in Missy Moo. Sometimes watching them together brings me back to the days of playing in the playground with my own brother. I see Buba protecting her as they go down the slide and holding her hand to run to the next fun adventure together, things my own brother did to me. They argue and fight just the same as we did. I think this is just normal sibling behavior but it’s bittersweet to watch them together and recognize mannerism here and there of myself, my siblings and even my mother in them.
We love the park and on sunny days it’s great to walk around the neighborhood and park hop. It’s a very simple thing to do but the kids love it so very much. Grandma was just icing on the cake being with us on such a beautiful day. I love that my mother doesn’t need big plans and huge days out to make her trip across the world amazing. I know that just sitting in the house with me and the kids is enough for her. I can’t wait to go back to the states for the summer and the kids get so much Grandma time, again this year. They loved being with her. Now that they are a little older I foresee some baking and crafts starting with her this summer too! Grandma get ready!
My mother has taught me a lot in life and I hope to pass it on to my children one day. If you have the pleasure of knowing my mother you will know what a wonderful lady she truly is and if you don’t know her, take my word, she is truly inspirational! I am bias but I have the world’s best mother ever, my children are so lucky to have her too! I look forward to the many years ahead of us to share with her and the kids and watch their relationship grow and ours remain close forever.
It’s the time of year again….
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