National Grandparent’s Day is celebrated in the month of September. It originated in 1978 when President Jimmy Carter declared that it be observed on the first Sunday after Labor Day. The purpose is “to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children, and to help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.” I have to say that being a grandparent has brought much joy to my life (as many of you already know because I write about my grandkids all the time). In honor of Grandparent’s Day, I would like to share a few of my favorite stories.
For a long time, my youngest grandson, Elijah, didn’t speak. He would just shake his head, “yes” or “no” and point at something. I kept trying to teach him to call me Grandma; he would just shake his head. Finally, he started to talk and he chose his own name for me. He calls me Gabba. And he never says it just one time. When trying to gain my attention, he hollers, “Gabba! Gabba! Gabba!” Then he pats the seat next to him, his way of telling me to come sit with him. I am fairly certain that he is going to be my last grandchild, so I am savoring every moment. Elijah is all boy and plays rough and tumble with his brothers, whom he adores. He loves football and throws one with such accuracy at age three, I see an NFL career in his future.
My grandson, Noah, shares my love of reading and we would spend hours at the library and the used book stores. When he was little, I gave him a special book for Christmas that I had recorded. He could hear my voice reading the story as he turned each page. It startled him a little bit when he heard my voice, and with a baffled expression on his face, he put it down on the floor. I thought to myself, well, that was a great gift idea. Later, I saw him in the corner with a blanket, reading the book over and over again. Noah listened to that book until it finally wore out.
Gianna, my granddaughter, has always lived in a different state, so I was overjoyed when she would come to stay with me for a couple weeks in the summer. My favorite memory of her is taking her to see her favorite movie, Frozen. She absolutely fell in love with it! A few months later, she asked me if I wanted to hear her sing “Let it Go”, the theme song from Frozen. “Of course!” I told her. Then she asked, “Do you want me to sing the original version or the one in 16 different languages?” Grinning, I told her I wanted to hear the one in 16 different languages. Sure enough, she began to sing, and each line was a different language – French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, etc. I was stunned! She had taught herself the song by listening to the multi-language version she found on the Internet!
I could go on and on with these stories. All I know is that my grandkids are my very favorite little people in the world. On September 8, I hope that many people will have the opportunity to spend some time with their grandparents. I’m sure I will spend some time with my grandkids, and even though it can get very tiring at times, my favorite words to hear are, “Gabba! Gabba! Gabba!”
What a sweet story, Cheryl. Grandchildren sure have a way of finding a special place in your heart. I’m on great-great grandchildren now. I treasure every picture they color for me, each one inscribed on the back in large square letters: I LOVE YOU A LOT. There’s nothing that makes life more enjoyable than that.