The Joys of Grandparenthood

The Joys of Grandparenthood

We’re celebrating National Grandparents Day with our own Dr. Gloria Julius, vice president of education – and grandmother of Jordyn.  

As my friends began having grandchildren, they all said, “Just wait, nothing in life compares to being a grandparent.” I really didn’t understand that magic and emotion until 10 p.m. on July 10, 2012 when I walked into the hospital maternity room and saw Jordyn locking eyes with her daddy as he held their new precious bundle in his arms. That enchantment becomes stronger every time I’m with her.

Jordyn’s innocent actions and cute facial expressions always bring a smile to my face and sometimes tears to my eyes.  You see, Jordyn lives in Maryland and I live in Atlanta, so I get to see her only about once a month.  The opportunities may be few, but the time that I do spend with her is the most precious ever. Little Jordyn has a way of making my day brighter even from 1,000 miles away!

My daughter, Jamie, usually keeps my visits a surprise for Jordyn so that we can watch her reaction when I walk in the door. Talk about smiles and giggles! All I have to say is, “Where’s my little pumpkin?” and I hear her tiny hands plopping on the floor one in front of the other. Around the corner she crawls as fast as her little arms and legs will move! We hug and giggle and get acquainted with her new favorite stuffed friend.

Jamie also keeps surprises from me as Jordyn reaches new milestones! What a thrill it was to see the pride on Jamie’s face as we watched Jordyn push her chest up and stare out through the bars of her crib, or when she rolled over and scooted on her stomach to grab the toy that was on the other side of the floor mat. Crawling was really a big deal…but, uh-oh, time to baby-proof!

Hearing Jordyn’s language develop is absolutely amazing! Every time I see her, she is able to communicate at a higher level. From cooing to ba-ba’s and using sign language for ‘please’ and ‘more,’ she has her way of expressing her thoughts. This passionate desire to communicate was especially evident during her first birthday party last month. Jordyn was sitting in her high chair like a princess on her throne waiting for the cake to be served when she spontaneously started to babble in a series of nonsense sentences complete with intonation and expression. She went on for several minutes, so she obviously had some important ideas to convey! I’m convinced that she was giving her birthday ‘keynote speech.’ She had a captive audience, and the oh’s, ah’s, and is that right’s? from the audience just spurred her on more.

As I experience each of these treasured times with Jordyn, I frequently reminisce about the times when my own children went through those same stages. Sometimes the memories are prompted by my daughter’s questions; at other times, I impulsively begin associating Jordyn’s actions with her mother’s when she was going through that phase — often to Jamie’s chagrin.

So…be patient with your children’s grandparents when they go off on a tale about you as a child…it’s really out of their control. They don’t intend to embarrass you. But it is kind of fun watching you wrinkle your nose or hide your face in humiliation. It’s part of the joy of being a grandparent! And your turn will come someday!


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