Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The joys of being a grandma September 5, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Grandkids, when they are preschoolers, are in constant motion. Here my granddaughter, Isabelle, runs toward her mama.


PREPARING APPLE CRISP would have been quicker, easier, had I completed the task solo. But I didn’t. I pulled a chair up to the kitchen counter so my 3 ½-year-old granddaughter could help. A sink away, Izzy’s mama, my eldest, peeled and sliced the apples.


Izzy playing on the North Alexander Park playground in Faribault.


As Izzy and I scooped, measured, dumped and stirred together ingredients, I considered the joy of being a grandma. There’s nothing like it—a love so overpowering and intense and strong that I still marvel at the delight of it all.


Isaac’s mama pushes him in a swing and big sister helps while attending a family reunion in Sauk Rapids.


In Isabelle I often see Amber at the same age. Perhaps in a certain look or expression. Memories resurface. Yet, these are new memories I am building through the time spent with Izzy and her 8-month-old brother, Isaac. I treasure every single moment with them. They live an hour away, close, yet not always close enough.


Izzy and Grandpa fly a kite together.


This past weekend they stayed overnight with us. Their mama, too, while our son-in-law was out of town. We played at the park, went to the library (where Izzy and I picked green beans from the community garden and both kids played in the kids’ indoor play area), read books, rocked, attended church services together, flew kites.


There’s something about a baby’s hand (Isaac’s here) that I love to hold and to photograph.


I wiped sticky hands and faces, made faces at Isaac until he giggled, poured milk, made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and did all those things grandmas do without thinking, slipping back into mom mode. Minus the 24/7 responsibility.





Grandpa untangles Izzy’s foot from the kite string.


I observed, too, my husband interacting with Izzy and Isaac. I love watching them. Grandpa chalking Charlie Brown onto the driveway along with an over-sized hopscotch game. Grandpa and Izzy holding onto the handle of a kite. Izzy leaning into her grandpa as she gazes skyward. Grandpa untangling Izzy’s foot from the kite string for the second, maybe third, time.


Isaac is always on the move.


And Isaac, not to be left out, lounging in his stroller, gripping the kite handle. Grandma hanging on, too. He’s a happy boy, always on the go, crawling already for a month. Keeping up with Isaac and Izzy requires lots of energy.

By day’s end, I felt my age. Weary. But in a good way. There’s a reason we raise children at a much younger age. Come bedtime, Isaac quickly fell asleep upstairs in his mama’s old bedroom. Izzy, though, required lots of cajoling to stay in my office, her temporary bedroom. Tiredness finally kept her there until a 3:20 a.m. bathroom break. I didn’t hear her call for her mama at 5-something. Grandpa did. It was his turn anyway to get up with her.

We would do anything for our grandchildren. They are precious beyond words. So sweet. So loved.


To all you grandparents out there, Happy National Grandparents Day on Sunday, September 8.

© Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


24 Responses to “The joys of being a grandma”

  1. Edward Brian Says:

    Such sweet reflections and memories being made.

  2. Claudette Says:

    Oh Audrey how adorable! 🙂 You have a beautiful family. I remember those days when my now teens were that tiny…


  3. Beautiful grandchildren and special memories!

  4. valeriebollinger Says:

    So happy you were able to spend time with the grandchildren. It’s priceless.

  5. Wonderful post. My son is 10. I’m 62. I know that weariness. I always wish for more energy. I wish for more time. I hope to be around to see a grandchild.

  6. Littlesundog Says:

    You are a blessed grandma… and family. With so many broken and blended families today, relationships and keeping family together is challenging. I love reading about your close family and the bonding that is happening with your next generation. While that experience has escaped me – it doesn’t keep me from celebrating it for others. Thank you for sharing your kids, grandkids, and the experience of family. Your photographs made me smile!

    • You are welcome. I have seen in your postings how you share your love with your family (nieces and nephews specifically). You can always be a surrogate grandma. We play that role to some kids in our church family whose own grandparents live a long ways away.

  7. Missy’s Håndarbeid (Missy’s Crafty Mess) Says:

    Happy Grandparents day! And those curls! I’m so happy you get to spend a lot of time with them. My memories of time with my grandparents are some of my favorites!

  8. Susan Ready Says:

    Lovely photo tribute to spending time with family. Love the kite photos

  9. Jackie Hemmer Says:

    Such sweet little ones… glad you and Randy got to spend some quality time with those babes and their mamma 🙂 I totally understand the “feeling my age” when we spend time with the kids, they are busy busy busy!

  10. Marilyn Donnell Says:

    And here’s a sweet deal – 12-yr-old granddaughter now has her own phone. Apparently she calls Gramma as much as she calls her friends! I was so stoked to learn that!

  11. Almost Iowa Says:

    Being a grandparent is the best – except for the melt-downs. 🙂

  12. WordPress has not been my friend lately in commenting for some reason so I keep trying! I absolutely love all of these photos and the sentiment behind them. There is nothing like a grandchild (or so I hear) and I love seeing all of the love in these photos. Keep those pictures coming – they are a bright spot.

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