I had two wonderful grandmothers. I only ever felt love from both of them. They both made huge impacts on both my childhood and who I am today. I was very lucky to have Maw Maw until I was 18 and Grand Mommy Tyson until I was 25. Grand parenting, I have recently discovered, is serious business. It is full of all the wonderful and happy things that are a small child while also freeing you up from the day to day responsibilities of being a parent; however, you still feel such a responsibility towards who those little ones turn out to be.
I loved my Grand Mommy Tyson like no other person on this earth. She has always been almost “other wordly” in my eyes because I saw her as nothing but pure love and graciousness. I never, ever heard her say one bad word about anyone on this earth, and I knew that when we were around, she was a very, very happy person because WE were there. I just KNEW it. WE made the difference. I often wonder if she really knew how very much I loved her and how very important she was to me growing up. Every single happy memory I have from childhood below about ten years old can be related back to her in some way. From the Easter egg hunt in her yellow house when it rained one year to the aluminum Christmas tree with the lighted color dial to taking naps in her house with the snowy white chenille bedspreads, it was only happy memories from her house. There are way too many memories to count. Now, I am not so ignorant to believe that my grandmother was a perfect person in her adult world of responsibilities and stresses of living, but I feel sure she was a good person who loved Jesus, always worked hard and did her best. But to me, she was perfect, and that is how one should feel about their grandmother. It is the payback for all the love they give.
Now that I am a grandmother three times over, I totally get it. I love these little boys like nothing else on earth. They are my future. They are the world, and I strive to be the grandmother to them that Grand Mommy Tyson was to me. Having the grand parent experience myself only shows me more fully how very much Grand Mommy Tyson loved us because now I know what was in her heart for us every single day. Even if I only get half way there, I know my grands will have an awesome Mee Mee. I had the best example.
I look at these boys sometimes and think, how lucky they are that right now, in this moment, the only goal of every person in their life is to make sure they are happy and well cared for. While that is how it should be for all babies, I know that it is not, and I’m currently ecstatic that Axton, Jensen and Jasper have no other concern than to learn, play and be happy. Eventually life will intrude, but I pray that will be many years from now. My job is to love them as fiercely as I can, help their parents when they need me and pray over them every single day. I find myself wondering on the other side of the coin now. Do they know how very important they are and how much I love them? I wonder how to convey to them that love and kindness are the most important things on earth, and that I will ALWAYS love them no matter what. They make me happy by just walking in the door. My heart bursts with the overwhelming love and happiness they bring with them no matter where they go.
Now this is where God shows up and lets you know THEY know you love them. I can only hope that God gave my grandmother the same little insights so she knew we loved her as much as she loved us. When I say “it’s the little things, people,” I truly mean it. You just get these subtle messages sometimes that show you the incredible power of love. I recently got one of these tiny little messages, but this little moment assured me that my grandsons are learning love from me, and they know what it is.
It is amazing to me to watch children learn….everything…figuring out toys, shapes, colors, developing their own sense of humor, how they relate to other people and acquire language are just a few things that I pay attention to because kids are fascinating. I think it is the educator in me that pays attention to how they learn. On the other hand, I will turn into the baby talking Mee Mee in a heartbeat to love on and play with them. I am a hybrid mix of old fashioned grandmother and hip, cool Mee Mee. Often when I first see the boys I will say in a baby voice, “hey, darling” as I give them the biggest hug and kisses I can get in with squirmy little boys. It’s not something that I was conscious of really until the other day. Let me back up to give a little perspective on how important those two words are. August 12, 2016 brought my third grandson into the world when my son and daughter in law gave birth to baby Jasper. From the moment Axton saw his new little cousin, Jasper has been “his baby.” You tell him that is Aunt Laura and Bubba’s baby and he will say, “NO, MY baby.” Their house is the baby’s house. When we go to Manchester, we are going to his baby’s house. Axton adores Jasper! We know this. Our family revels in it and everyone knows Axton loves that baby! So here is how God showed me that Axton knows I love him and how important showing that love is. We went to visit Jensen and Jasper one day a couple of weeks ago. Jasper was in the little bouncy seat chilling out quietly. Axton walks right over to him and squats down, leans over very close to his tiny little face, and says, “hey, darling!” I almost missed it! It was nothing big; nothing of consequence, and yet is it was the biggest thing! My heart melted. God just showed me that the way Axton told Jasper, “Hello, baby. I love you,” was the same way I tell them all the same thing. Axton, at only two years old, understands love and how to show it, and he knows how much his Mee Mee loves him too! It’s enough!