Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The joys of grandparenting continued May 4, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Isabelle, my granddaughter.


WHEN I BECAME A GRANDMA just over a year ago, my definition of love broadened.

I discovered a new love so profound, so deep, so undeniably wonderful that it nearly defies explanation. Those of you who are grandparents understand.


At bedtime, Izzy did not want me to stop reading books. Her mom (pictured here) warned me she would do this. This baby girl loves books. When she awakened, Izzy pointed toward her closet and her stash of books.


I am re-experiencing the simple joys of life through my granddaughter. A squirrel scampering across the yard never looked so intriguing. A children’s picture book never appeared more interesting. A first step never seemed more applause worthy. A small body curved against mine never felt more comforting.

It’s not like any of this is new to me. I birthed and raised two daughters and a son and cared for many children in between. Endless memorable and loving moments imprinted upon my heart. But there’s a difference. I was a mother, not yet a grandmother.


Isabelle claims her grandpa’s heart and hand.


Grandparenting stretches love in a wider way, across and connecting generations. I find incredible joy in watching my eldest daughter with her baby girl. I find incredible joy in seeing how deeply my granddaughter loves her mama (and daddy). I delight in observing my husband as a grandfather, his grease stained fingers clutched by those of his one-year-old granddaughter.


On the last two visits to our home, Izzy has been drawn to the stairway. For her safety, we blocked access with a gate. But then Randy decided it was time to teach Izzy how to navigate the stairs. Once the gate was removed, she lost interest and abandoned the stairway.


I’m at the age when I am cognizant of time, wondering how the years of raising children—feeling sometimes overwhelmed by the demands of motherhood—slipped by, zip, just like that. Now I have an opportunity to reclaim that period of my life. If my granddaughter wants to page through the same book repeatedly, I will oblige her. If she stretches out her arm, pointing toward whatever she wants with fingers clenching and unclenching, I will “listen.” I will parcel Cheerios onto her high chair tray. I will carry her to the window to watch the neighbor’s dog. I will do what grandparents do best—I will love her with a love that is deep and tender, consuming and wonderful.

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


24 Responses to “The joys of grandparenting continued”

  1. valeriebollinger Says:

    Well defined…so true…and I agree! So happy for you and your grandchild to be together. She’s so cute…love the photo of her and the book!

  2. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    What a perfect little angel

  3. Loretta Schroeder Says:

    Such beautiful pictures to support your beautiful words…grandparenthood is a wondrous gift!

  4. I needed some CUTENESS OVERLOAD today – thanks so much for sharing!!! Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂

  5. Jackie Says:

    Awww, this is just so sweet, as is your little Izzy! I love the photo of her little fingers on Randy’s hand. Grandparenting is everything the best, I can never get enough of those little ones!

  6. treadlemusic Says:

    I am so glad you are taking the “Grandparents’ contract” so seriously!!!! Keep covering all those ‘bases’…..it’s a glorious task! (AND, you’ve earned it!!!!!)

  7. Littlesundog Says:

    This post just oozes of love and adoration. I love the “hands” image. I saw a little sign that I bought for my mom long ago that said, “Many a child is spoiled because… you can’t spank the Grandma!”

  8. Susan Ready Says:

    lovely tribute- cute photos and love the pacifier you are so lucky to be a grandparent

  9. Lovely. So, so good!

  10. JosieBendiks Says:

    My first grandchild is Izzy’s age. It is quite a thing.

  11. gograndma Says:

    Being a grandma is the best. Congrats to you and welcome to the club!

  12. I do agree that becoming a grandparent can change one’s identity profoundly. It’s mysterious, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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