Friday, November 21, 2008

Grandpa and Ya-Ya

If you've paid close attention and are a stickler for details, you'll notice a change in the spelling of Ben's mom's grandma name. It's really more of a correction than a change. It used to be Ya-Yai; now it's Ya-Ya. It's Thai for grandmother (she's Thai, in case you missed that). It's a bit tricky in Thai. There are two names based on whether the grandmother is the father's mother or the mother's mother. Ya for father and Yai for mother. I confess I don't really have an ear for languages, so all this time I thought she was pronouncing it Ya-Yai - the Ya is like ya-ya sisterhood, and the yai almost has the sound of the y in my. Almost, I say, because I haven't been pronouncing it correctly for over a year. I thought I had cleared the spelling with her, but it seems I have not. It's a good thing really, since I was a little confused as to why we were using the combination of the father's mother's name and the mother's mother's name. Also, I can actually pronounce Ya-Ya, so altogether it's a change for the better.

So, after that long, verbose explanation over a missing letter, on to the real topic of this post. It's to inform you all of what amazing grandparents Grandpa (sounds kind of dull after all that explanation, doesn't it (sorry, Grandpa)) and Ya-Ya are. They have been just wonderful to Natalie and Abigail.

Of all the grandparents, Grandpa and Ya-Ya live the closest - a mere 1.5 hours. Compared to my parents at 5 and 6 hours, this is as good as the next town. Because of their proximity, Natalie and Abby get to see them every two to three weeks on average. They are kind enough to often come here for the day (a real gift during the days of nearly $4 gas and a having an SUV). Ben sometimes takes the girls on overnights to give mommy a break. (BTW Daddy, the girls told me they LOVE those visits and want to go every other week from Friday to Sunday night:-)). Grandpa and Ya-Ya even kept the girls on their first overnight while we went to a wedding in Wilmington. Well, technically it was the second. Last Thanksgiving my family took the girls to a nearby hotel for a night when I was about to lose my mind. Anyway, they cared for, feed, entertained, and got the girls down for bed and a nap the next day. It was very impressive.

Natalie and Abby have so much fun when Grandpa and Ya-Ya visit. They are both great about getting on the floor with them and playing with them. They have helped Ya-Ya pick beans in her garden and checked out Grandpa's motorcycle. They visited a park and took their first train ride. Their doggy, Candy, is a big hit as well. Hanging out pool side on the deck was also a great way to spend an afternoon. Ya-Ya also provides the cutest clothes - including some adorable outfits from Thailand.

Grandpa and Ya-Ya have been just amazing and for that I am so grateful. It's time to confess that things haven't always been warm and fuzzy between us. Let's just say...there was a time of tension - like two or three years:-) But, as I have watched them love on and spend time with my girls, I have been overwhelmed by feelings of gratitude and thanksgiving. My own grandmother, Mema, is the most amazing person. We spent weeks during the summer with her and went on vacations with you (DisneyWorld, The World's Fair, the beach, the mountains). She would pick us up and take us for treats at Dairy Queen and take us to the park when we were little. We cherished every minute with her - and still do. Even though we were rarely closer in location than 3 or 4 hours, she always made time for us and our bond is so close. I have always wanted that same relationship for my children and their grandparents.

I am so grateful that Grandpa and Ya-Ya live close enough to see Natalie and Abby so often. I am so grateful that they want to see them so often. Their love for Natalie and Abby is so evident and lights up their faces whenever they are with them. Even better is the joy and love on Natalie and Abby's faces when they see them.

I am truly beholden to Doy and Richard for the love and affection they give to Natalie and Abby. It's never the toys or clothes or expensive trips that kids cherish the most - it is time. It is truly the most valuable of all gifts. Thank you, Grandpa and Ya-Ya, for taking the time to cultivate relationships with Natalie and Abby and enrich their lives in the way that only grandparents can. I am so very thankful.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

After reading this Johelen, all I can say is Thank you - we do love our grandchildren. As long as we are physically able we will continue to play with them, because that is what keeps us young. Doy & I plan on wearing out a lot knees in our pants crawling and playing with the girls, the same way we wore out a lot of knees in our pants while playing with Ben and Jeff. Besides, that's where all the action is, the kids always have the best toys. Love you all Grandpa - PS house is coming along just fine, new shingles are back on, new windows, etc.