From Mundane to Meaningful – Everyday and Special Times with Grandkids

Most of our grandchildren live about an hour from us in one direction or another, making it relatively easy to take part in their lives.  We’ve gone to aquariums and libraries with them. We’ve gone to their parades, school fairs, karate tournaments, and plays. We see them for their birthdays and much more. It’s wonderful.

No grandparent would tell you this is exactly mundane – although it is commonplace.  These are important events for us, and we treasure every one of them.   I’ve always suspected there’s a “stale date” on the coolness of spending time with grandparents, so we love it, for example, when our fourteen year old grandson chooses to go on a kayaking/camping trip with us each year instead of staying home with friends.

This is our normal comfortable rhythm with the local “grands.”  But we have two other grandchildren who live 425 miles (seven hours) away.  Those two we see at Easter, around Christmas, and at one or two family occasions annually – all events which include many other people.  That’s why we drive over to see them when we can – and we’ll be doing that this weekend.  We crave a little time with just their family.

We try to do memorable things with these children when we’re together, often outdoors.  We’re hoping to maybe watch some of the meteor shower with them Sunday night – if the weather permits.  It looks like we may have thunderstorms for at least part of the trip, though, so I headed off to pick up some fun new things to do.  I found some learning games and crafts – and then, in the dollar aisle at Target, I found books.

Classic, stand-the-test-of-time stories, adapted slightly for ages seven and up. These are the books I read when I was six, seven, eight.  The Wind in the Willows, The Jungle Book, The Secret Garden, Dr. Doolittle, Treasure Island, and more. For $1.00 each.  I couldn’t believe it – I felt tears welling up.  My children can still remember me reading some of these to them when they were little, and I can remember my parents reading most of them with me. I bought quite a few.

Now, I can’t wait to get my granddaughter alone, to pull her close to my side, and talk a little about each of these books before she starts reading them.  Her brother will have to wait a bit to appreciate these stories,  but she will love them now.  One of the greatest joys of my life is the love my children and their children have for books.

I was already excited about making the trip to see my son and his family.  It’s always wonderful to see them, hug them, and catch up on their lives.  It’s important to us to keep up with these children, and for them to know us.  Phone calls are nice, but sitting together at a table making things a with clay, walking through the park together, or snuggling up with a wonderful story – these are the ways memories are made.

This trip, we’ll spend at least some of our time together sharing our love of the written word with our two long-distance “baby grands.”   I can’t wait, and I can’t imagine a better legacy.

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This post is in response to a WordPress Writing Challenge on the topic From Mundane to Meaningful.   To learn more about the challenge and see some other entries, click here.

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42 Responses to From Mundane to Meaningful – Everyday and Special Times with Grandkids

  1. So sweet and cute can be the love to our beloveds!

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  2. Madhu says:

    Perfect interpretation TRS! There is something about reading to children that is so precious!
    Ours live about six hours away too and our story telling is preceded by a ritual of bargaining over the number of books to be read, till the mother butts in with her no nonsense decision on the appropriate number before bedtime 🙂 Wish they were closer.

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  3. Pingback: Weekly Writing Challenge: From Mundane to Meaningful | small house/BIG GARDEN

  4. A lovely inspiring post! It does make me feel a bit sad as we live on the other side of the world away from my parents and they doted on their grandchildren. I love the books you mentioned – watching my daughter discover those classics is magical – we love Pippi Longstocking and Peter Pan too. Thanks for the lovely read!

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    • Also great choices! There are so many wonderful children’s classics! Our dad used to read us a chapter each night until we finished books like Heidi and Alice in Wonderland. Wonderful memories. I hope you will find a way to get together with your parents before too long! Thanks for the visit. 🙂

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  5. Lisaman says:

    Great to have most of your grandchildren living near you!!

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  6. Lori says:

    How very blessed your grandbabies are to have you sit next to them and read a story. Oh how I miss those days with my own children. Its the best gift a parent could ever give in my opinion.

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  7. deepa says:

    I can’t resist buying books too, for myself and my kids! Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the great tips!

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  8. lexiesnana says:

    We love spending time with our grandkids and I think they keep us young! It must be hard having some of them so far away.I loved this post and it made me put my shoes on to go play with the g-kids.Blessings

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    • So glad you’re able to enjoy your grandchildren – they do keep us young. People are often surprised how much I know about Wonder Pets and Skippy Jon Jones! I also know the names of many American Girl characters, and how to play Temple Run (my 6-year old grandson taught me!) And then, sometimes they meet me on my ground, and learn about the Just So Stories, or making shortbread, or paddling a canoe! Always fun. Thanks so much for stopping in!

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  9. Diana says:

    Confession of a grandma!! 🙂
    Loved it!
    It reminded me to my childhood, although it is that many years back 😉

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  10. danirachmat says:

    My wife’s parents live two hours away and they always see us every now and then. Guess that I can relate what you write here. Its wonderful to see the sparks in their eyes when they see our kid or my wife’s brother’s kids. Wish you happy moments with your family.. 🙂

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  11. Due to distance, we only get to see our three grandchildren once, if lucky twice a year. Do enjoy,RT and squeeze an extra hard hug with me in mind. I will live it through you 🙂

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  12. melouisef says:

    I guess I am a bit jealous but in a nice way
    🙂
    I also know grandchildren are sometimes much more fun than your own, so go for it!

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    • My kids are still a lot of fun as well, but you’re so right – grandchildren are different, and we really enjoy watching each of them develop in a unique way. The best thing is that they are all affectionate, so we always get hugs! Glad you visited! 🙂

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  13. dadirri7 says:

    such a heart-warming post, how wonderful for children to have grandparents who think of them and bring such special gifts to share! … we are off to see our two grandchildren who live 2 and a half hours drive away … we see them about every six weeks … and i have collected a few things too although it is becoming harder when all they want to do is play computer games …. so i have a cool evolutionary science dvd, and my camera which the eldest likes to experiment with …. when they come to us there is masses to do with the bush and the beach but up there we try for walks with the dog that create a good chance to chat … all very important good times 🙂

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    • It is a struggle sometimes, to get older kids outdoors or into conversation. We’ve been lucky enough to have all of the “local” grandchildren for weekends occasionally, which helps – and you’re right, walks are wonderful opportunities! So nice that you find ways to be together regularly. We find that even when they’ve seemed to be in their own worlds, they later remember so much of our time together!

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  14. adinparadise says:

    Have a wonderful time with your grandchildren. My 2 closest are 7 hours drive away, and of course you know the other 3 are in New Jersey. I’m hoping to have a little reading time with my granddaughter next week. I still have some of her dad’s books here waiting for her. 😉

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  15. Fun post I totally identify with. We now live a little farther from our grandkids than we used to so I especially cherish the times we can see them now. Thanks for the great idea of checking out Target’s $1 aisle. Just today I was thinking I need to collect a little stash of goodies to take along whenever we get to head their way:) Also, love how you change your header picture to accompany your posts. Very clever 🙂

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    • Thanks, Brooke! I picked up some fresh Play-Doh, flash cards, a math bingo game, and a couple of little books for our toddler as well… think I’m ready to rock & roll!
      I also love that the theme lets me set the tone of posts with particular “featured image” photos – although it’s occasionally a challenge to find the right one with enough pixels!

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  16. rachel bar says:

    There’s nothing mundane in this post. It’s about the most special moments in life and its gifts.

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  17. There’s comfort in those classic stories that have stood the test of time, and in sharing them with loved ones as you do. Have a wonderful trip; I’m sure you will!
    ~Colleen

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  18. The photo at the top is so happy, so normal! It would have worked well for the fleeting glimpse post! Z

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