A few months ago, my grandma got a smart phone. Actually I’m not entirely sure what type of phone she got. But I do know that she can text and receive pictures with it. She got this phone so that her kids and grandkids could send her pictures. Sending her pictures is my new favorite thing to do. Several times a week, I try to capture everyday moments of my kids’ lives and send them the pictures to my Grandma.
My grandma is also active on Facebook. Not in the posting pictures of kittens dressed up as people kind of way, she logs on and is able to look through her news feed to see how her children and grandchildren are doing in the world. I know this because she comments on my posts. There is no Facebook notification I enjoy reading more than ones informing me that my grandma has posted on my wall.
My grandma is awesome. I’ve always thought this but it’s just been in recent years that I’ve realized how truly awesome she is. My grandma raised 4 kids. As a child, this seemed like no big deal to me. Now as a mom of three, I see her for the saint that she is. I cannot get enough of her stories about raising kids. I marvel at how she managed to cook dinner (and even dessert!) each night with four kids around to interrupt her. She reminds me that her kids were born over a period of 11 years, unlike the two years it too me to have my three.
I love to listen as she tells me about life with only one car and having to wait until my grandpa came home from work to go grocery shopping. I ask her which child gave her the most attitude, which one was the easiest and which two played the best together. We swap stories about first steps, first words and potty training. She tells me about the time my dad choked on a lollipop and the time my uncle fell off his bike and a neighbor carried him home. She remembers it all.
When I can’t think of any more questions about her raising kids, I ask her about her childhood. She grew up on a small South Dakota farm which is far from the suburban childhood I experienced. I listen as she tells me about her parents and siblings. She tells me about life on a farm and living with her sister after graduating high school. She tells me how she met my grandfather and what it was like moving out of South Dakota for the first time when he was transfered to the east coast. Every story she tells I find fascinating.
I’m sure my grandmother has faults, but I’m not aware of any. She makes incredible chocolate chip cookies, she remembers every one of her kids’ and grandkids’ birthdays and she has something nice to say about every person she meets.I ask her how it felt when the last child finally moved out on his own. She reminds me that my uncle was barely out of high school before she began babysitting my brother during the day while my parents worked. Almost immediately after my family moved, my cousin was born and began babysitting her. Perhaps that’s why my grandma is so close to her family. She’s had a hand in raising each and every one of us for at least some portion of our life, even if only for a few weeks.