Monday, June 10, 2013

life lessons from pops.

I had this entire post written for today---I wrote it last week when we were in the heat of Oh My Gosh, this is my life with a 3 year old now? hold meeee. But then we had an amazing weekend, and I was alone for most of it, too, while my husband was away, even. Emeline was sweet and loving and kind, and I didn't find myself feeling like I wanted to run away or cry in a corner.

So it feels weird talking about that now, you know. Now that we had an awesome weekend and her behavior was really, overall, pretty great and all those devilish things she did and the way she acted last week seem like a distant memory (not really).

I'll just save that post in my drafts for a day I'm pulling my hair out, mmk? probably tomorrow

For now, this.

Friday and Saturday I spent a lot of time with my dad. My mom was out of town and so it's just kind of natural to check in more with him, make sure he's doing alright, have him over for dinner, etc. On Friday night he came over for a "pizza paw-ty", I'm not sure what qualifies it as a party, but-look, pizza=momma didn't have to cook. So, yea-party alright.

Emeline is c-c-crazy about her Pop Pop. I mean, completely and ridiculously in love with him. She talks about him non-stop, has so much fun playing with him--he gives her undivided attention, teaches her new things, explores with her, and talks with her about everything and anything.  If you know Em, she can talk. and talk. and talk. She wants everyone to be talking to her at all times.

So, at dinner--she completely monopolized the conversation. My dad would go back and forth with chatting about her day, about the details of Lucy's doctor appointment earlier, about blowing bubbles on the deck. Then, my dad would try to talk to me about the newest product at work he was excited about, for example, and before I could get a word in edge-wise, Emeline would say, "Excuse me Pop Pop--talk to meeeeee!" 

It sounds really, really cute. And she's mostly polite about it. But I assure you, after the 3983948th time you've tried to have the same conversation, never getting to complete it without being interrupted by that familiar sing-songy voice and "talk to meeeeee, please"--it's not really that cute anymore. Except it never seems to bother my dad.

He'll flow in and out of deep conversation with my 3 year old. Squeak in a little bit with me. Back to more conversing with his granddaughter. Over and over again, like a pro.

When dinner was done and cleaned up--I decided to put my brave face on and be The Fun Mom when I proclaimed, Let's go get ice cream! It was raining. And I mean, pouring down buckets of heavy rain. Lucy had just been put on antibiotics for an ear infection. We don't even own raincoats (let alone coats that fit anyone right now). Lucy had a pizza-stained onesie. I was in sweatpants. Emeline's hair looked like she'd been through the spin cycle of the dryer. It was much too close to bedtime for my liking. But we threw our hoodies on and headed up to Dairy Queen, anyway.

On the short drive there, my dad and I began talking about this or that. But, not a few seconds into our conversation a little voice pipes up from the back again---Excuse me, guys--but can you talk to ME? 

My frustration grew even more. Can't I have a conversation with my dad, for the love, child? I talk to you But, I gently explained to her that sometimes adults have conversations, and we will be happy to talk to her, too. But right now we're talking about _____ (I can't even remember anymore, mom brain is real, folks.)

She didn't really like that answer. And again, after a few minutes, she said--But excuse me, Pop Pop, can you talk to me now?

Before my blood could even boil over, my dad kind of giggled--and smirked at me in that way that he does....and he said, It's really okay, Kate. I mean, one day she might not want to talk to you, right? Enjoy it.

I sort of breathed deeply and muttered a you're right. I let it sink in a little more.

Then I listened as they began talking about the details of the rain, what kind of dessert they'd get when we got there, why her Hello Kitty boots are her favorite to wear in the rain, and what color sprinkles would be on her ice cream cone.

He wasn't trying to be profound or anything. He was just being honest. Despite his illness, despite his own obstacles, he teaches me how to love better.

and that's just one of the reasons I adore him so much.



  1. Dad/grandkid relationships are so freaking special. Both my niece and my nephew adore my dad (who is also Pop Pop) to the point where my nephew needs to know where he is at all times and asks for him like crazy.

    Grandparents don't get frazzled at the things we do because many years ago, I'm sure your dad or mom was driving trying to have a conversation with his or her parents and you and Susan were talking off your their ears in the backseat and he remembered the moment. Our parents teach us to love better because they've been through it all and have come out the other side appreciating the little things.

  2. I love reading this!!

    I longggg for that for my kids. I miss my dad every single day and this relationship is one of the biggest desires of my life.


  3. Nope not crying. The pic sharing the ice cream? Amazing!

  4. Grandpas are seriously the best thing ever. Even better than grandmas sometimes, at least in my case! Don't get me wrong, I love my grandma to death, but there's something so awesome about the relationship between grandpa and granddaughter that I just LOVE!

    & I totally agree, my grandpa and grandma only live two houses away, but when my grandpa is home alone, we have him over for dinner(if he wants dinner, usually when he's alone he indulge in all the desserts he doesn't enjoy as much with my grandma home) and we have him over for cards or whatever!

    Have a great day!

  5. I needed to read this today.... it's been a long day, one where i'm sitting on the couch counting the minutes until Brad gets home. Sometimes, it's nice to remember that they won't be this little forever and to just enjoy it.

  6. And I'm crying at my desk. So sweet. Thanks for sharing!

  7. The amazing bond is compleatly visiable in pics...

    This relation is so special.

    Keep in touch..

  8. This is such a great post ... Especially bc I have had many many moments the past few days where I'm all "ahhh these kids!!!" ;)

  9. OMG I swear Eme sounds just like KP. Girlfriend NEVER stops talking, ever. From the time she wakes up till she shuts her eyes at night. And have you entered the why phase? Everything. Why? Why? Whyyyyyyyyyy?

  10. This kind of made me tear up a little bit. There's just something special about the relationship between any grandfather and his granddaughters. This Sunday will be 5 years since my gramps died and I miss him everyday. I had a much deeper relationship with him than I do with my gram. It just seemed like he understood me a lot better! So glad your girls have the wonderful opportunity of having such a fun granddad!

  11. This just made my heart burst with love. I didn't know either of my grandfathers. She is lucky to have him, and so are you!

  12. This just made my heart burst with love. I didn't know either of my grandfathers. She is lucky to have him, and so are you!

  13. I just had this type of day... Actually weekend with pea. I am bawling reading this post because it sooooo hits home!!!

  14. I friggin love the way you write. Thank you so much for sharing your gift. Dad posts make my vision all blurry and stuff. AH! LOL :) <3

  15. Wow. That does make you think! What a great way for him to teach you about parenting. I love that story.

  16. This was such a sweet post.

    And I had to chuckle at Eme's "talk to me" moment -- we're currently at that stage now. "Mommy, stop talking to daddy, k?"

    I feel like I repeat the same sentence over and over before I finally give up.

  17. Love this. Totally and completely. (P.S. I am stealing a few moments at the tail end of nap time ... as in, Eva already tried to get up but I told her to go back to bed because it wasn't wake up yet ... to sit down and catch up. So sorry I haven't been around here enough lately). Xoxoxo

  18. ADORE everything about this post!!!!!!!!!!!!! XOXOXO

  19. I think I love your Dad too! And I've never met him. I pray for the best for him and your family.