Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Of books & puzzles & loving my granddaughter April 3, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Grandpa and granddaughter work together on a puzzle in the morning light.


PAJAMA CLAD FEET SLAP against wood as Izzy runs to meet me in the sunshine of a Sunday morning. My smile widens as I scoop my granddaughter into an embrace, my arms and lips kissing her with love. Oh, what joy in the morning.

We are the only two up and I’m enjoying this solo time with Izzy. The evening before, it was three of us—Izzy, Grandpa and me—hanging out while her mom and dad enjoyed dinner and a concert.

Every time I see Isabelle, which is about once a month, she’s changed, grown and learned new words, new skills, new ways to make Grandma smile.



Books remain her great love. This visit, I read, among many other titles, Pat the Bunny, the same book I read to her mama decades ago. There’s something endearing about familiar words passed from generation to generation. There’s something remarkable, too, about the act of reading to someone you love. The closeness, the teaching moments, the interaction, the bonding over words and pictures imprints love. As I cuddle Izzy in the bend of my arm, her lean body pressed against me, I feel an overwhelming, nearly indescribable, love for this almost two-year-old.



When I watch my husband put puzzles together with his granddaughter, I experience the same. Likewise when I observe Izzy with her mom and dad, other grandparents and extended family. This little girl is loved by many from West Coast to East Coast and in between.



On this visit, Izzy demonstrates that she’s learning her letters and numbers. She’s got “o” down and the hoot of owls, a favorite for awhile. But now she loves Poppy, her new best friend from the movie “Trolls.” And she likes Elmo and Daniel the Tiger and Minnie Mouse and… She’s stringing words together, counting to five, learning her colors. She’s holding up two fingers to indicate that she will soon turn two.

I see the independent traits of a two-year-old emerging. I see, too, her endless energy. I swing Isabelle upward and back down just to hear her laugh. (There’s a reason I lift weights.) And I reread the same books just to make her happy. I am thankful I can be part of this growing, this learning, this loving. There’s nothing quite like being a grandma.

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


20 Responses to “Of books & puzzles & loving my granddaughter”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Can’t love this post enough. What an adorable little one and of course Pat the Bunny was a favorite of ours. Those times with Izzy are so special and I know you love each second.

  2. Almost Iowa Says:

    Kids get all the cool stuff.

  3. Jackie Says:

    Izzy is growing up soooo fast, as they always do. I love reading the words of a grandma in your posts, I know how much you love her by those words alone. Such smart little girl already learning so much. So glad you had some Izzy time!

  4. There is nothing better than learning and exploring through the eyes of a child 🙂 Oh so much FUN! Happy Day – Enjoy

  5. I cannot wait to have grandchildren, although it might be a while. Izzy is adorable! What a sweet little blessing.

  6. Judy M Says:

    I enjoyed reading this post, it made me smile. Izzy is learning alot for her age. Brought back memories of when our grand children were young.

  7. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Awe so sweet. Nothing like having little ones around to lift everyone’s moods even if they didn’t need it

  8. Bella Says:

    lucky you and cherish these moments

  9. Oh, beautiful little girl.
    And I know you’re the BEST grandma EVER!!!))))) xx

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