Artwork, Beauty, Cultures, Grandchildren, Hawaii, holidays, home, Parenting, photography, Religion, travel, Uncategorized

Bridging the Generation Gap

I totally adore my grandchildren. Each day I try to think of how I can best help them so they will enjoy a productive happy life. They all have wonderful parents and I don’t want to overstep my bounds. I would like to share a few nuggets of wisdom left by those who have gone before me in this great adventure of being a grandmother.

Granddaughters playing with dolls. Photo by Ruth Kongaika

My own paternal grandparents gave me a feeling that I still long for from time to time. They allowed me to feel that their home was my home. I remember roaming their little home and farm, watering the plants, getting the eggs in the chicken coup and enjoying the peas in Grandma’s garden. They also raised sheep and I remember a time when Grandpa put a saddle on one of the sheep and let me ride her. My grandparents always encouraged me and made me feel warm and sunny inside.

My parents, paternal grandparents and Great-grandmother, aunts and uncles. My father is holding my older brother.

In this world of so many voices, I think it is my responsibility to plan some time to interact with our grandchildren. They need to feel close to us and hear our stories. Each time I see my grandchildren, I try to single each one out of the group to talk to them and reinforce my love for them. Hugging is a way of showing your love for each one. I remember my maternal grandfather used to plant a kiss directly on my lips. That was a bit uncomfortable, but it is what it is.

My maternal grandparent behind myself on far right with an aunts, uncle and cousins.

Grandchildren each have a unique personality and their demands are different. I have a couple of grandsons that are happy just to give me a quick hug and then they do their own thing. Some of the other children need me to listen to every word they say. It takes effort to really listen, not just pretend to listen. I learn so much from them and they sometimes say funny things. One thing for sure, they are honest about how you look when they are young! Alll but two of my grandchildren are taller than I am! The other two are 10 and 11. Wow!

Three of my grandson we visited when they lived in Egypt. Aren’t they handsome?

I may not see some of the grandchildren because they live miles away, but I do remember them daily in my prayers. I also try to talk to them every weekend by phone or send an email to check how they are doing. Sometimes I just share fun things I find on social media

My oldest granddaughter! Isn’t she lovely!

When we are together, I try to do what the grandchildren want to do for a while. In the past, we played card games, dominos, board games, went to the park to swing, or played ball. Now that I’m getting older, they usually go out for a walk around my block together. We still watch movies, play board games and eat goodies. I think it is important that we laugh with our grandchildren. That is a priceless, wonderful gift.

Two sporsters!

My husband tries to get the grandchildren to help him around the yard and in the garden. Hopefully they will remember him as a hard-working person. They try to get away from doing any work while they are with us, but it is important that we teach them the value of work. Recently, the older grandchildren have begun asking for money so grandpa has them mow ing the lawn, cleaning the window wells, or other chores instead of just giving money to them.

The ability to love unconditionally and to show it are the most important qualities a grandparent can possess. It is hard when you see your grandchild being disciplined for something they did wrong, but it is important not to interrupt the way their parents have chosen to deal with their children. I have learned this the hard way. Only give advice when asked.

Christ said “Suffer little children…to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14) Here, suffer is a verb. It is an action word. It means to allow or to experience. Christ instructed his disciples to let the children come, and then provided a great example by drawing the children to Him. Because of the children’s purity and innocence, He said we are to become as they are. We draw the children to us to enjoy and learn from their faith, innocence, and trust. From us they can learn how to live in a corrupt society without being corrupted by it.

Artwork, Beauty, Cultures, Grandchildren, Hawaii, health, home, Parenting, photography, Religion, travel

Made it to Number Ten!

Some people ask me why I only have four children. That is especially true in Polynesian Cultures and also in our church’s culture. Truly I feel blessed to have the four I do have, but some of our friends have many more children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren than we do. Not to feel sorry for myself or just in case you are thinking “why does this grandma think she is qualified to have a Grandma Blog”, since she only has 12 grandchildren?

After our first two children we born, we were told that we could not have any more. That was disheartening for my husband and I. After many doctor visits, prayers, and blessings, we were told we could have maybe one more. That is when we had our third son. What a blessing he has been to us. We call him our “Saturday’s Warrior” baby (it is a musical). When it came time for him to have what would be his first and only son, we were ecstatic. I even had a dream and was told that the new baby’s name would be Joseph. When I told my son and his wife about my dream, they were surprised because that is the name they had already chosen!

Joseph James (after his maternal grandfather) was a healthy cute baby. He was adored by his big sisters and of course me. As he grew, he reminded me so much of when his father was younger. We still lived in Hawaii then and were so happy to visit with the family often. Jojo, as we called him adored his grandma and she loved spending time with him and the girls.He was very clever and would tolerate grandma taking fun pictures of him.

Joseph was born the same day that my mother passed away. It was a bitter-sweet day and I like to think that they passed along the way.

Jojo had an affinity for pacifiers. He could not be without several during the day and night.

Jojo and his pacifiers!
Be sure to have a supply of pacifiers on hand!