This week I was honored with the invitation to attend an ultrasound appointment with my daughter who is pregnant with spontaneous triplets. Spontaneous triplets are conceived without any assistance from fertility drugs or treatments. They were wanting another baby, and was blessed with three.
According to the CDC, triplets happen in 1 out of 10,000 pregnancies. Majority of triplets are conceived with the aid of fertility treatments. Becoming pregnant with triplets without the assistant of fertility treatments is more rare.
They are 28 weeks in gestation, the beginning of the third trimester. Being able to view the ultrasound and see my grandchildren was thrilling. They are crowded inside, moving a lot. They are doing very well. Each baby weighs a little over 2 pounds, total is over 7 pounds. I was able to hear the heart beats of each baby. We were also able to see and hear them practice breathing.
As a mother in the 80’s and 90’s, I only had two ultrasounds during my four pregnancies. Being able to see my grandchildren during this visit was a blessing beyond measure. These three grandchildren bring the number to fifteen grandchildren. I am blessed.
Babies and mom are doing well. We are looking forward to their delivery in September. Prayers and positive thinking are appreciated.
My grandson, J. , has been with me for three weeks. We look forward to the summer weeks we spend together. The time is precious to me when he visits, so I focus on him and making precious memories. This year there were some milestones reached, and my “little boy” is growing up. A sobering undertone realized by both of us on this summer visit.
When he was barely two, he came to live with me for 18 months, part of the time his father lived with us. The start of summer time visits began. Each summer he has come to visit for three weeks to a month. Our visit begins with a long drive, I live in Texas, he lives in Colorado, 15 hours one way. Traveling is not a bad way to start the summer visit, we talk during the drive, catching up on the happenings of the year and making plans for what we are going to do during the short time he is with me. During these visits there are two things we always make sure we do, ride his horse and fish.
The horse he rides is the horse I gave him when he was two years old. My mare I competed in Reined Cow Horse events. She is an awesome children’s mount. This year she turned 16 years old. I purchased him a saddle he has ridden in all these years. When he mounted this year, the stirrups had to be lengthened once more, to the last hole, the longest they will go down. Lengthening the stirrups to the last hole was a visual sign he was growing up, his last summer in the children’s saddle. Next year he will have to ride in my saddle, an adult saddle.
Fishing, my little man loves to fish. His journey began when he was two and would reel in the perch I or Grandpaw hooked. He graduated to an adult pole when he was seven. That year he caught his first big catfish, a 28 inch channel catfish. When he finally got it to the bank, his arms hurt. The fish was longer than half his height. This summer he caught two nice catfish, a channel catfish that was 20 1/2 inches long, and a blue catfish measuring 20 inches long. We use a tape measure to measure the fish, not going to have any “fishing tales”. He has out fished me the past five or six years.
This year, I and Grandpaw have decided to move closer to my daughter, his aunt. That means it will be a two hour drive to our lake, instead of five minutes. He has learned to fish at this lake, and it is where he has caught his largest fish to date. He mentioned we would need to travel back to our lake, at least once every summer. The lake is open to everyone, but there are very few people, if any when we go fishing. We are alone, the two of us, with the lake and wildlife, as if it is our own personal lake.
The lake is a nice place to enjoy our surrounding and to talk. This year we talked about him turning thirteen. He is getting older and will soon want to do something different than visit Granny. He will have a job, a girlfriend, and other things. I let him know when the time comes he does not have time to visit in the summer, it is ok. As a young boy becomes a young man, things change, change is not bad. Living is about change, we learn to do new things and remember the past things we did.
Every summer there is work to do as well as play. He helps with the chores. This year he did the chores on his own. Caring for the animals brings him joy. We also sanded a dresser for my daughter who is having triplets. In the past he has helped me build sheds, paint fence, build dog houses, plant fruit trees and bushes, and care for the garden. This year we worked on refinishing an old dresser.
We also did something he has an interest in, baking and decorating cakes. We watched shows on decorating cakes. He baked a cake for his cousin’s birthday and learned to decorate the cake. His cousin loves strawberries. The cake was a simple white cake made from scratch, not a box. The frosting was cream cheese frosting. The layers were seperated with a strawberry reduction. The pokemon, decoration is fondant. We had fun working on the cake together, sharing ideas and learning.
I have had to learn to share my grandson. This year my daughter, her husband and daughter took him to the ocean for a weekend. He loves the water and enjoyed the visit to the ocean. They also played miniature golf and games at an arcade, while my daughter sat in a room.
Then it was time for the trip home, another 15 hours in the truck traveling home. We make a stop at my other daughter’s family’s home to sleep before going on to his home. This year, his baby sister was born when we arrived at my daughter’s home. So for the last leg of the trip home, his aunt and his other grandpa (my ex-husband) were with us. We dropped him off with his mom. He later met his dad and us, at the hospital to see his baby sister.
We have traveled through good times and bad times, challenges and disappointments in life. The one person he can talk to without any reserves or fears, is Granny. These visits help him to recenter and refresh to handle the challenges that arrive in the year. This year, I realized he has learned the tools to handle any challenge that may come his way.
My “little boy” is growing up, and soon he will be a man. The time of calling my grandson, “my little boy” is coming to a close. He will always remain my close buddy and fishing partner. We have many memories to share.
Each year I drive the long miles to pick up my grandson, Mr. J. He has come to my home each summer since he was four years old. He actually lived with me for nine months starting at age two. Circumstances with the divorce of his parents, and his mother moving to Texas, he needed a place to stay for awhile until she became settled. Granny’s house was a good place to go. Then his father came to Texas and stayed with us for nine months. So, for over a year he lived at our house.
When things settled and his parents found their rhythm in life, he came for visits. The length of time started as a whole month. But as children grow, they have other activities. This year Mr. J will visit for three weeks.
The drive to bring him to Texas and return him home is the worst part of our summertime visit. Two days on the road makes a long trip. On the trip to Texas we talk about the year and catch up. We also make plans for what we will do this visit.
This year, we are fishing and riding horses. His horse is not caring for a baby this year, and we will be able to go on rides. He has been riding her since he was two, they are both getting older. There will come a time when he will not be able to ride his beloved Vicky horse.
Fishing is another activity he started learning at the age of two. We would take him to the local lakes, hook the perch and let him reel in the fish. He has learned how to bait his own hook, take off his own fish, and how to put rigging on his pole. The first day of fishing this year, his first fish was a channel catfish, 20 1/2 inches long, weight 3.5 pounds. His largest fish he has brought to show was three years ago, a channel catfish 28 inches long.
But staying with Granny is not all play, there are the daily chores of taking care of the sheep and horses. We are also refinishing a dresser for his aunt who is having triplets. He has learned how to paint different items in the past visits, but this year he is learning how to hand sand and refinishing an old dresser, and make some minor improvements and repairs.
Two years ago when Covid-19 broke out and everyone was on lockdown, he could not come for summer visit. His mother said he was miserable. She said that would not happen again. His summertime visits are a recharge for him. A time to learn new things and just be a kid.
Mr. J and I have a special relationship, grandmother and grandson, but also best friends. He is able to talk to me about anything and everything, without feeling judgement or getting in trouble. We have worked through some of his hard problems, learned how to deal with emotions,the problems that arise from having divorced parents and step parents.
During our fishing trip, we discussed that these summertime visits will eventually come to an end. He is getting older. One year he will have a job, or be at college, and unable to take three or four weeks visits with Granny. He is getting older, growing up and will eventually have commitments and responsibilities, that he does not have today. Today, we will enjoy the talks on the lake banks waiting for the big catfish to bite, or feeling the rhythmic hoofbeats under us as we ride.
He also realizes that the day will come when his beloved Vicky horse will no longer be able to carry him on a ride, she is sixteen this year. His hope is to ride her filly born last year, when the filly will be old enough to ride. And perhaps, he will be able to train her, be the first on her back for the first ride.
It has been a cherished joy to teach my grandson the many lessons, first to be talk using words, to learning to ride alone, to catching and reeling in a 28 inch catfish. Memories we both will cherish for a lifetime and beyond.
So, if I miss a day or two from writing the next few weeks, I am out fishing or riding or working on a dresser, building more memories to recall in the future and a relationship for a lifetime.
February is when people focus on their love for others and themselves. At the end of every year, I do a self reflection of the year and my life. I have thirteen grandchildren, with one on the way and one in planning.
The sad part is I live so far away from my children and grandchildren. There are times, I feel I do not know my grandchildren, but mostly they do not know me.
On resolution I made for 2022 was to write letters to my grandchildren. To share with them stories of the parents’ childhood and mine. The share memories.
I realize we have email and texting, but that is not the same as getting a letter, just for them in the mail. Think, what do people usually get in the mail? We pay our bills online, very few get paper statements. I get advertisements, credit card and insurance sales pitches, nothing personal.
I remember when my children would get a birthday invitation from a friend in the mail. They were so excited and that was back in the day when mailing something was common. How much more exciting would it be today for a child to get a handwritten letter from their grandmother who lives far away?
I decided to hand write the letters. Hand written letters are not seen with the common use of computers. The easy pecking of the keys to put thoughts on a screen, make a mistake just delete or the computer automatically fills in the words for you.
A hand written letter takes thought to compose the idea and artfully draw the letters on to the paper. The action of writing the letters, words and thoughts is time consuming, but special when received. Each person has a distinct way of moving the pen or pencil to create lines, letters and words forming thoughts. Hand written letters will be giving an actual piece of myself to my grandchildren.
Perhaps I am old fashion, I am definitely older. I remember writing letters and receiving letters from my grandparents. I felt so grown up and special when I opened the letter addressed to me.
Perhaps, some old fashion ways of doing things should not be taken away due to technology and advancements.