Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The joys of grandparenting August 10, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:01 AM
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The MY GRANDMA LOVES ME onesie I gave to my granddaughter at her birth four months ago now fits her.

Isabelle, dressed in the “My Grandma LOVES me!” onesie I gave her at birth, swings a favorite toy.

I’VE BEEN A GRANDMA for four months now. And I have loved every single minute. It’s as if I can’t get enough of sweet baby Isabelle.

By my own admittance, I’ve never been a baby person, deferring holding a newborn until several months after birth. I’m talking other newborns, not my own three babies. And certainly not my darling granddaughter.

Every time I see Izzy, I do a photo shoot. Here's my favorite, shot in the golden hour of evening light on a screened porch.

Every time I see Izzy, I do a photo shoot. Here’s my favorite, shot in the golden hour of evening light on a screened porch.

This past weekend my husband and I had time alone with our sweet baby girl while her parents went on a date. They live an hour away, so we stayed overnight.

Grandpa pushes his little girl during an evening walk.

Grandpa pushes his little girl during an evening walk.

Sunday morning I swooped Izzy up before her mommy or daddy realized she was awake. I carried her to the living room and settled onto the sofa, cradling her in my arms. To my left, Grandpa greeted his granddaughter and coaxed her in to smiling. I love watching my husband interact with Isabelle with such tenderness and love. He is smitten. The day prior, on a stroller walk through the neighborhood to a road construction site, Randy humored us. “Look, Izzy,” he said, “a big sandbox.” I laughed. And although Isabelle couldn’t comprehend, I hope she develops a sense of humor like her grandpa.

Isabelle rolled onto her side once during our stay.

Isabelle rolled onto her side once during our stay.

As the three of us bonded on Sunday morning, I considered the blessing of this baby girl who has brought us such joy. Every little developmental accomplishment calls for celebration. Smiling. Cooing. Rolling over. Standing (with support) on two strong chubby legs. Batting at toys. As the parents of three, Randy and I have witnessed all of this in our own children. But there’s something endearing and remarkable when it’s your grandchild.

And then there’s the joy in seeing your own child as a parent. When Amber walked into the living room Sunday morning to greet her daughter, she sang a short made-up song about sunshine and birds and morning. Isabelle smiled at her mommy. And we all smiled back.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling