Is how much fun it is to watch your kids be parents.
They tend to be better at it than we were--their expectations are definitely more realistic. Maybe that's a good thing about having little brothers and sisters? They came into parenthood already knowing kids are nuts?
I don't know.
But the year is nearly over, and it's actually been a very fine year so far.
I hope 2012 will be just as fabulous as 2011 has been.
I know you already know this, but we love you. love, MOM and DAD
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
My parents were good parents, very good--pleasant, safe, reliable, patient, completely decent people.
But they are absolutely spectacular grandparents. I think it's because as grandparents they cut loose in a way parents can not.
They're extravagant with these kids in every way I can think of, and they're funny.
My mom is the more gentle and supportive type. My dad is the teaser.
Recently I heard about this joke he played on some other grandkids--not mine.
He does oil painting. He took this up as a hobby, and he told me it was specifically because he needed to cultivate some hobbies for his old age: things he do can sitting down.
This made me scoff and laugh--hobbies for siting down--except it's very hard to learn oil painting, and not only has he persisted, he also gives tutorial lessons to the grandkids.
Then he sent it home to the kids--a painting I did of your dog.
The kids were conflicted.
It didn't look much like their dog.
What's with the beady eyes?
They tried to be diplomatic, but the as the story goes they frowned, and squinted, and scratched their heads, and looked at each other because it was just so weird.
I heard this story and laughed until I was holding my chest in pain.
I called him on the phone just to LAUGH and asked him, "What would you do if you didn't have grandkids to harass??"
He hooted, "Well then I'd have to harass YOU!"
Oh, thank goodness for the grandkids then.
This is a picture from the past. That's my dad 30 years ago with John and Dan in his arms, Dan holding the little Vick's nose thing up to him.
Here's something really good to know--whatever laughs, hugs, meals, foolish crap you share with your grandchildren, just go for it. It's more important than it feels in a moment.
About this time, John asked my dad to go down to the basement with him so he could shoot the cap gun. My dad said, "No, I think you might shoot me."
John said, "Nah, I'll only shoot you in the feet because you're old." (My dad was 42.)
Oh, life is awful good, and yet you two have created some very big shoes to fill. love you both so incredibly much, Val
The picture below was from earlier, at the tree farm. This was a new place and the drive there was a little hazardous with Heidi, Joe, p.j. and Kirsten following. U-turns, quick corners, yikes. No harm done though.
Heidi phoned and asked me, "Is Dad trying to kill us?"
I answered her truthfully. "No. That's the furthest thing from his intentions."
Yes, that's Tim in shorts.
So this is their own first Christmas tree in their own house too, and that makes me incredibly happy.
It's not Dept. 56's best selling village, but I like that too. It's about the Alps and Heidi and Peter and Grandfather and the goats, and that old story.
Last year I was more tired and overwhelmed, and it never did get set up, so I'm proud we got it done this year.
Plus these two girls were so sweet, so excited about it, opening the packages, arranging all of it. They haven't seen it in two years, so it was very fun for them.
She's playing with the nutcrackers. They each have a different voice and were talking to each other. I couldn't follow the plot, but that's okay.
Oh, onward to Christmas and all the fun that goes with it. love always, Val
Thursday, November 24, 2011
And the tables were finally set:
The usual characters were here:
It was brave of her, but it definitely suits her.
This girl was also looking fine.
And this guy too.
The main question is whether they're eating anything involving crumbs.
They were not.
Sigh. Just nobody call 911, okay?
Okay, here's Tim. Today Heidi cornered him for a serious question.
I just look away. What's it to me? Do I look like Martha Stewart?
Heidi asked him why?
"For storage, that's all. So things are close by." (He used to have a book case headboard, but that's gone, so this is apparently the new version of the ever-cluttered headboard.)
Heidi asked how items were sorted. Tim told her by priority. In the closest curtain was a box of Kleenex, because if you need Kleenex, you need it right away.
And also his DS. (The importance of having that close by needs no explanation.)
"And the Bop-It."
That's when Heidi lost it in gales of laughter, "The BOP-IT! What do you need that for when you're going to sleep?"
"Well, nothing. But then I know where it is."
She gave me a long, quizzical look, then looked over at her own baby, p.j., and started laughing again, "I don't know if I can have kids."
Well, they are a little crazy, true, but mostly in a good way.
And for my parents and my sister and her fine family who brought food and came and ate and laughed today in easy company, thankful.
For this whole life full of family and racket, goofy dogs and love, and involved discussions about the evolving and confusing nature of life, I'm grateful.
Thank goodness for all of you. I'm so incredibly glad we have each other. love always, Val, aka Mom, aka Gramma
p.s. As I'm about to hit the "publish post" button at 11:55 pm, Tim is here with a pillow pet, showing me some substance on it, and he's not happy.
It's grape jelly, and Julia's fault.
I told him to just put it on the desk and GO TO BED.
How does grape jelly get on a pillow pet at midnight? I don't even want to know. Good night and love, Val