KatieKatie Katie Parsons is the creator of Mumbling Mommy and is a freelance writer, editor and communications specialist. She works from her home office on the east coast of Florida. Most often she writes about life in a combined family of five children and what it's like being a full time work-from-home parent. Feel free to pitch guest post ideas or just drop her a line at katie@mumblingmommy.com.

This has been a great week. Our youngest son and wife had their second daughter. And of course, per my observation, she is as perfect and as amazing her bigger sister, and her Florida cousins.

I am grateful for the 2 little girls who live in town.  I have the option of seeing them, and assisting their parents with babysitting when necessary.   I am able to participate in special events/activities that they are (and will be) involved in.

4of my grandkids, and an honorary one

“The Florida 4” have also been with us this week.  Their ages range from 6 – 1 yr. old.  It has been a fun time.  Their parents have included “Papa” and I in their Indiana vacation.

As they start their packing for home, my heart is heavy.  They grow up so fast.  I am thankful for e-mail, phones, and Facebook that gives me a glimpse of their world while we are apart.  And I am already starting to look at reasonable flights for a fall visit.

I have been pondering my position in their lives.  What is my role?

There have been a couple of “meltdowns” this week.   There have also been some more emotional events.  I have caught myself re-directing them…. and realizing that this is“not my place” (unless of course danger is involved).  Their parents do well calming storms and mending offenses.

I have also realized that my role is support.   I am to be their biggest fan.  I am to be the easy one to talk to when it all falls apart.   I am the one who is ready with “ooohs & ahhhs” at accomplishments and milestones.  I am the one who will do her best to get to the special events of their lives….or at least acknowledge the milestones.  I am the one who oozes my love and looks into their eyes with compassion and hope.   I am the one who has an ear to hear.  I am the one who can help them process their hopes and dreams…but not the one to steer them into a particular path just because I think it’s a good idea.

I am also the one who stands with their parents in enforcing rules and setting boundaries.  I am the one with a listening ear and a gentle word of encouragement.

I do not have the authority to question their parents’ decisions or change the rules behind their backs.   (Fortunately, they are all awesome parents…so there isn’t a big problem with this one.)

With my newest grandbaby, Corinne

I had the best grandmothers ever.   They loved me unconditionally, they laughed at my jokes, and cheered at my accomplishments.   They were strong and honest women.  And they left me too soon.

But, I hear them in my thoughts. I can hear their voices.  And I remember their words of hope, of love, and of kindness.  So much of them lives in my soul.

That’s my goal — to leave my words of love and hope settled into their souls so that someday they will still feel and hear the love I have for them.  And when a dark and lonely time comes along, they will remember that I loved them no matter what.

There may be some jewelry in my drawer they can have when I’m gone….a bit of money in the bank…some knick knacks and what-nots.

But my personal goal is to implant my love deep and secure into their hearts before I leave.  Sometimes we all just need to remember how much we are loved.  My grandparents were good at it. Hopefully, I’ll succeed also.

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Category: Grandparents

Tags: childhood