I remember when my kids were little and they would go over to folk’s house while I worked. My mom hadn’t worked for several years and my dad decided to retire early. They would sit all day in the front yard while my kids had the opportunity just to be kids. They would play games, pick up leaves, and just got to enjoy being outside. Now I have little grandkids. Riley is five, Morgan is almost two and a half, and little Bodhi is about a year and a half old. I see my little ones quite a bit, but I’m not privileged to the carefree days that my folks use to enjoy with my kids. I work, and what even adds to my work is that I’m self employed. Owning a store like Country Roads that only closes three days a year, is at times like a ball and chain. Thankfully I enjoy that ball and chain but I do wish I had the freedom of down time. Those of you that are self employed know what I’m saying. When I want to help my little ones build a Lego castle or spend time coloring with them, work is always in the back of my mind. There are always emails to answer, and paper work to do.
I do feel blessed that I manage to spend as much time as I do with my grandkids. I know many of you don’t have that privilege. We all live not far from each other. I missed Riley’s soccer games this past fall because her games were always on Saturdays and I have Country Roads to open at 10 am every Saturday. I was lucky enough last spring to catch her T-ball games because they started much earlier. Sometimes when I’m with my grandkids I just watch them play. The simplicity of them playing and pretending takes all of us to a different place in time. It makes me jealous, and reminds me of the carefree days as a little kid. One of my favorite moments several months ago was when all three of my little ones were at my house. Riley was instrumental in putting together the “Woody-Jesse Parade”! I had bought them all little vintage cowboy boots, of course from Country Roads. Riley helped Morgan and Bodhi get their boots on. As the parade began, they circled around my family room and you could just hear the girl’s squeals of laughter. And you could see Bodhi, because of his age, definitely marching to his own drummer going in the opposite direction! When my daughter, Katie, works at Country Roads, I usually watch her two kids, Riley and Bodhi, a couple of days a week. And because of that, I have the privilege of picking Riley up from school, meeting her friends, and her teachers and many other things. I got to rock Bodhi to sleep when he was smaller and Morgan lived with me & my son and his wife up until a couple of months ago. I know not all Gramma’s get to spend so much time with their little ones! Riley and Bodhi’s dad has been off work for a few weeks because of his back. I haven’t had my little ones over at my house like I use to. And I can’t tell you how much I missed them. And Morgan? My son Bryce and his wife got their own place a few weeks ago. Morgan has been living with me since the first day she came home from the hospital. There has been a bit of an empty spot in my heart.
The past couple of weeks I’ve had some reminders that my little ones really do love me though. Riley will get on the phone and tell me that. She is at that chatty age, although I think she was born at the chatty age! Morgan came over the other day and just ran to me and plopped herself in my lap. And the other night I had taken Katie home from work, but I only had minute and was getting ready to leave. Bodhi started running towards Katie and I crying. Of course I assumed because we had worked all day, that he wanted Katie to hold him. You know what? He wanted his Gramma! As I held my little boy very tightly, I knew how truly blessed I am to be able to have these experiences. I get to go to Disneyland with them, spend holidays with them, do just every day stuff with my grandkids and even be a part of the “Woody-Jesse” Parade! And no matter how tough life gets, or what is going on in our world, I know how blessed I am. I know in my heart what makes me happy, and how these little grandkids of mine are such a huge part of my life. I know some day they too will be working at Country Roads. I will teach them to work just like I did Katie and Bryce and Brande. And when this world of our gets a little tough, I always, without a doubt, thank God for kids!!