My Grandchildren-Why They Fill My Heart Space

The magic of being a grandparent

For anyone who is a grandparent, you already know the magic of loving your grandchildren. It is different from being a parent, because there is a freedom there to spoil at will, and to love without the added stress of worry: am I a good parent, is what I am doing going to adversely affect my child’s future, am I raising this child to be a responsible citizen, etc. Really, to love this new life unconditionally without all of our own issues interfering, as it often does in parenthood.

I have four, wonderful grandchildren that range in ages eleven through three. Being an out of state grandmother makes it difficult for me to be part of their lives in the way that I want. One of the hubs I wrote this past year addresses the many ways that make it possible to stay connected to grandkids when they are living far away.

Although I visit as often as I possibly can the distance between us is too far for a day trip. They live in Michigan and I live in North Carolina. So, when I do visit I take lots of photos. In fact, I have gone through several cameras taking them…and the family knows that I won’t leave until there is at least one group shot.

I try to visit during both holiday time, special birth years, and ordinary down time-which is usually a week in the summer when school is out and we can do some fun activities like berry picking. My annual Christmas photo consists of a group ‘grandkids’ photo with me stuck in the middle.

My two oldest grandchildren belong to my youngest daughter, Christa and my two youngest grandkids belong to my oldest daughter, Cara. An interesting fact is that each daughter had her daughter first followed by her son. If you’ve been following my work you have undoubtedly seen their faces on Hubpages more than once.

So, here are some photos from my collection with an explanation of why I love this child and what the photo means.


Olivia

Contemplating life on  a bright, sunny day.
Contemplating life on a bright, sunny day. | Source

A young writer: Olivia

Olivia is my first born grandchild. She has olive skin and penetrating hazel eyes. She is a very serious, deep thinker, so it is a rarity to catch her laughing in a photo. She loves animals and her favorite now is the wolf. Her nickname is: Wolf Girl and I wrote a hub book review about wolves that I dedicated to her. She also loves to sew and actually created a minature wolf doll, and a wardrobe of clothes.

She is an awesome writer and has won Honorable Mention from a Writer’s Digest competition for a submission I made when she was ten. In sixth grade she was selected by her teacher as manager of set design for their school play. Along with her writing talent she has a strong artistic talent which has reaped her recognition in the school district.

This year, Olivia will be entering the same junior high school that her mother, aunt and grandmother attended. She'll be in seventh grade.



Marco

A proud young man in uniform
A proud young man in uniform | Source

Cub Scout: Marco

Marco is Olivia’s younger brother. It is amazing to see the two of them stand side by side and know they are from the same parents. Marco has a fair complexion, blonde hair, and piercing blue eyes like his mother. He has a sensitive heart and loves to help out. He also loves to cook and often will whip up breakfast for himself or his mom, and is very competent doing so-this at age seven.

Marco is ‘all boy’. He has a lot of energy, which he directs in his karate class; is a cub scout and won first place in the soap box derby contest last year; and swims competitively for the same swim team as his sister, each of them winning multiple awards and ribbons.

Marco also competed in a local triatholon this year and placed third for his age division. He also competed in the Upper Peninsula bikathon contest: Ore to Shore, and won second place for the second consecutive year.


Grace

A happy child with a winning smile
A happy child with a winning smile | Source

Starting Kindergarten: Grace

Grace is the oldest daughter of Cara, hubber Cardelean. She is five now and has just started reading and writing. She created a cover for her writing journal and enjoys spending time in her backyard writing in it. She is a quietly observant child, which reminds me of her mother. She has a kind heart and is willing to help out, especially with her little brother, who happens to be only a year younger!

Grace loves gymnastics and is unafraid of the parallel bars, the trampoline or climbing the rope to the top! I watch her play at the park and am amazed at her upper body strength and lack of fear on the rock climbing wall. She will be starting kindergarten this year and is happily looking forward to it!

She loves to help her mom in the kitchen and has participated in Monday cooking sessions for the Kids Cook Mondays series, which you can view by going to cardelean's profile page. Her father loves the Japanese culture and regularly uses chopsticks to eat with. This has influenced Grace, and her brother Alex, to learn to use them as well. Quite impressive I must say.


Alex

Batting his lashes and baby blues to get a treat!
Batting his lashes and baby blues to get a treat! | Source

Born on the 4th of July: Alex

Alex is the ‘baby’ of the group of siblings/cousins, but don’t call him that to his face! Both he and his sister have the blonde hair, big blue eyes that both parents sport, but Alex has knockout lashes that are the envy of many ladies. He is a HUGE flirt and can melt your heart in a flash. Oh, and what a sense of humor at age three already. No doubt, he is surely going to be the class clown when he is in school.

Alex has been going to story hour at the library, as well as preschool, for about a year now and he loves to ‘read’ books along with mom and Grace. Both Alex and Grace love to sing, dance and play musical instruments. He just started gymnastics along with his sister and clearly enjoys the activities. He is also a very active, typical boy, who loves his mama very, very much-especially at night when he wants to climb in bed and snuggle.

Alex is also a cook's helper in the kitchen and has become quite adept at handling the kitchen gadgets, and even taking a turn at the stove at age four, with mom's supervision. He loves to play with his friends and sister and keeps the family entertained when he makes up his own songs about anything and everything.

Alex's special birthday is on the Fourth of July!


Christmas 2010: an annual photo session

Christmas 2010
Christmas 2010 | Source

My Grandchildren are my pride and joy

I am proud of each of my grandchildren. I enjoy seeing traits of their parents in them, especially of my two daughters, Cara and Christa, although it is fun to also catch the traits of their fathers as well.

I love their individuality and my relationship with each of them, appreciating them for whom they are. It's fun to stay in contact, especially through skyping, and I am always looking forward to my next visit with them.

I hope you enjoy my photo gallery of my pride and joy.



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Comments 44 comments

Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Of course you knew I had to come take a look as soon as I saw this was a pictorial about your grandchildren. Well done, and it was nice to see and hear about all your grandchildren as I am most familiar with Alex and Grace.

Voted up, awesome, beautiful and interesting.

BTW: My husband is blessed with big blue eyes and long thick lashes that Alex has although Fred's hair is dark. Suffice to say Fred also learned at a young age how to work those baby blues! I still love looking into them.


marriedwithdebt profile image

marriedwithdebt 5 years ago from Illinois

You are blessed to have such a beautiful and talented family. Sharing family over long distances can be a challenge.


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 5 years ago from Philippines

Someone once told me that the reward for parenting are the grandchildren. How true:). Someone also told me the difference between children and grandchildren is that you get to enjoy their company without the hassle one had when raising children. Because at the end of the day they go home to their parents. But that is the sad part because we don't get enough of them.:( That is a lovely picture of a beaming grandma.:) you have a lovely family. I hope Marco will eventually overcome his ADHD. Thank you for sharing.


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 5 years ago from Rocky Mountains

We seem to have similar interests - our grandchildren. You have adorable ones and I can tell you love them deeply. I just wrote about my grandchildren too. They bring me so much joy. Aloha!


arksys profile image

arksys 5 years ago from Adelaide, Australia

beautiful kids and descriptions... you sound like a wonderful grandma. :)


Rose Palmer 5 years ago

Looks like the grandkids have a great start in life because of all the love in their family.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Gail, I had to chuckle to read about Fred's eyes and how you still love to look into them. I love people's eyes and there are some whom I could just drown in! Thanks for reading and commenting and all the nice votes. :)

marriedwithdebt (still lovin' your name, LOL) thank you for reading and commenting. Yes, I truly know I am blessed in more ways than I can count and my gratitude is sincere when I thank God for my family.

SilentReed-I almost added that part of the 'best part of grandkids' saying but because I am so far away, didn't think it really applied. My youngest daughter has the challenge-both Olivia and Marco have Attention Deficit Disorder, but Marco's is the hyperactive kind and O's is not. So, she is continuously monitoring mood, behavior, energy level, etc while running a household, and working p.t. She does an amazing job.

Hi elayne-thanks for stopping by and reading-I know we have our grandkids in common. I recall you writing hubs about them, (its always a fun subject isn't it?) I'll have to check out your latest ones. :)

arksys-thanks! I appreciate your comments. I love being a grandma and they make it easy to have fun and want to be around. I'll have to share my story someday about playing laser tag with the two oldest kids-it was a blast!

Hi Rose-Wow, what a great surprise seeing you here. Thanks for leaving a comment-and what a wonderful thing to say. We do love to love and support each other. It's been great chatting on FB with you and catching up on old stuff.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

Thank you for sharing your beautiful grandchildren with us! Being a long distance grandmother takes extra thought and effort, and it sounds like you are doing a wonderful job at staying close to your grandchildren. I love being a grandmother, and feel very close to all our 6 grandchildren even though we no longer live close to them. It's a challenge to keep those connections, but it is so worth it! Great hub, Denise!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Stephanie-thanks for reading and sharing your experience as well. I don't recall if your children are in the same state-that would make it even more difficult to try to balance time with them. At least my kids are still in the same area.

I just wish they were down here in NC. It is so much easier of a climate to deal with then Michigan. Plus it has the best of both worlds: mountains in the west and ocean on the East coast.

Nice to see you --I promise I will read some of your hubs too, :) (where are you now?)


kimberlyslyrics 5 years ago

without doubt not just beautiful photos that tear at your heartstrings but the subject matters are phenomenal and adorable!

just loved this entire hub! Thank you for sharing it!


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

What beautiful children in every way! No wonder you are proud of them. The boys resemble my own Jason at two different stages of his life, and that kind of gave me a start. Thanks for sharing.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

Thanks for sharing your story. The pictures are beautiful.


Charlotte B Plum profile image

Charlotte B Plum 5 years ago

What wonderful grandchildren, and they have a wonderful grandma too! Thank you for sharing this special part of your life with us!


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 5 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Denise, I love your hub, it is very precious for sure! Your grandchildren are beautiful, and you have much to be proud of. :) God is so good to bless our lives with such jewels. I am not a grandparent yet, but hope to be one day. I love my children, and have always very dearly loved my own grandparents, and enjoyed how my own parents love their grandchildren. Its all such a gift and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Thank you for sharing this very beautiful hub with us, its wonderful!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

I can see why you're full of pride. You have a beautiful family. Thank you for sharing...Smiles


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Kimberly-it's a pleasure to see you here. Thanks for your feedback. :)

WannaBwriter-it's funny how our mind reacts to images, isn't it...even though you know how old your boys are and where they are-it's a trick of the mind! LOL Thanks for your comments.

Thank you Vinaya, for reading and leaving a comment. :)

Charlotte-thanks-I think they are pretty cool; thanks for your comment. :)

ONS=I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. Thanks for the message you left-that lightened my step today. :) Yes, children really are jewels aren't they.

Hi Ruby-Yep, puffed up like a peacock showing off my grandkids...Marco turned 8 yrs old today (the boy scout). I called instead of skyping cuz they were heading out for dinner at his favorite restaurant: a Japanese steak house he picks every year. Thanks for your comments. :)


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

Although I read this last night shortly after it was published, I didn't get a chance to comment then. So let me add a little to your hub...

A WONDERFUL Grandmother indeed! All of her grandchildren look forward to your frequent visits, cards in the mail, and my kids' favorite "talking to Grandma on the computer!"

They love the thought that you put into spending special time with them, and gifts that are unique to each of their interests and personalities. Thank you on behalf of all of your grandkids, for being the wonderful grandmother that you are.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago

What a lovely family. Your grandkids are adorable, especially the one who can make the world goes round by batting his eyelashes. Thanks for sharing--your grandkids are very fortunate.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Awww-Cara, that was very sweet to say-oh, but you are biased, LOL Seriously-thank you hon. XXOO

Hi Anglnwu-thank you for your feedback. Yeah, that little Alex is a heartbreaker-well, both of those grandsons are-did you catch the blue eyes on Marco? Anyway, thanks for your comments, I appreciate them.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

Adorable grandbabies, thank you so much for sharing them with us! You described me in your first paragraph. I have 4 grandkids, my oldest is 5yrs old and she stole my heart from her first cry when she entered this world. My other 3 are step grandkids...8 month old twin girls who we see often and a 1 yr old boy. All our grandkids are local and I can't imagine living apart from them. You are so correct Denise being a grandparent is so different then being a parent!


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

Nice hub, you are lucky to have grandchildren, even if you are far away. They know you love them and think of them even when you are not in town. Beautiful pictures - take after the Handlon line!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Denise;

You are so blessed to have these four beautiful, wonderful grandchildren. And they are blessed to have you as their grandmother. I am still waiting for mine. My son was recently married, and I look forward with my heart to those moments and experiences you have shared here with us. Each day is a treasure, a privilege and a wonder. Thank you!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Sunshine-you're like me-you look too young to be a grandmother, LOL Although, I don't know really what that means anymore. It's all in the heart. Thanks for commenting.

Hi Sis-Hey, thanks, but your day will come soon enough! LOL

Hi Genna-thank you. Oh, you just wait, it's a lot of fun.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

Congrats, it has got to be a source of great pride for you


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada

Awww, Denise, this is so beautiful and I can tell you love each one of them in their own special way. They look like such great kids and they are so blessed to have such an awesome Grandma like you. Great work on this hub, too! I wish you all the best in the contest! (Voted up, awesome and beautiful)


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Credence-they are, thanks for reading and commenting.

Hi Prairieprincess-thanks for your votes and comments. I really do see them each in their own way...they are so much fun, and it's amazing watching them come into their own with each passing year. Best wishes to you in the contest as well. Heck, I'm just trying to do a daily submission in order to win a possible daily drawing. LOL


Robin profile image

Robin 5 years ago from San Francisco

What an amazing family that you have; a lot to be thankful for this time of year! They are absolutely beautiful and brought a smile to my face this afternoon. What lucky kids to have you as their grandma! ;)


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Aww, what a sweet comment, Robin. Thanks! I appreciate you reading this hub. (It is special to me, :) )


jeyaramd profile image

jeyaramd 4 years ago from Mississauga, Ontario

Your grandchildren are all so beautiful. I admired the fact that you appreciated them for who they are. Its so beautiful to promote their strengths as you do. I could imagine that they must be a bundle of joy. It must be hard keeping in touch. I do think that the time spent while you are together is also important.

My mother was unable to visit as often as she wanted due to her heart condition. However, it was amazing how they surrounded her for stories. They knew that she wouldn't be able to chase them down. But, they loved her just so.

Children are very smart in that they can sense genuine love and affection. All four of your grandchildren are fortunate to have such a wonderful grandmother. Best wishes to you and your grandkids. The best is yet to come. Great hub. Voted up and beautiful.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hello jeyaramd, thank you for reading and your kind comments. Best to you in your writing.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Hello Denise, I so agree with your first paragraph, as a grandparent I am far more relaxed with the children than when I was a parent. I'm having so much fun it's such a very special time.

I loved reading about and meeting your beautiful grandchildren, thank you for sharing and voting up.

Thank you also for the link to my hub, I have added 2 of your links to mine.

Best wishes Lesley


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Lesley, yes, the grandparents club is a special place-at least for some of us! Thanks for reading and the links to your hubs. I'll check them out. :) Enjoy the rest of the w/e.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Denise what gorgeous grandkids - no wonder you want to take lots of photos every time you see them. Even miles apart, you can always get uot your photo albums and enjoy a fix of them :o)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

I can so relate to this hub of yours, being the grandmother of four myself. Before I entered grandmotherhood, I thought all grandparents were totally nuts, boasting about their grandchildren all the time. Now I am the biggest boaster of them all! Your grandchildren looks edible, just like mine :))


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Jools-yep, not only do I take lots of photos but I travel to their state as often as I can and also skype, LOL Thanks for your comments.

Martie-hahaha 'edible' that is right on! Thanks for reading and commenting. :)


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

Awww....Your grandchildren are just precious. You know, I'm an old granny too, and so proud of mine just as you are. Aren't we lucky???

I voted this UP, etc.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

You have awesome grandchildren. They look so cute and adorable. Enjoyed reading and voted up.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hello Vellur-thank you. They are a lot of fun, too. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. :)


aykianink profile image

aykianink 3 years ago

Ahhhh!! Grandbabies!! So cuuute!:-)

Olivia's picture makes me think: "Oh no! More grandma pictures..." (in the loving and cute...and pain-in-the-butt way that kids say that kind of stuff. Hehe.)

Marco's picture makes me think: "Don't I look spiffy?":-)

Grace's picture makes me think: Of someone...drinking margaritas...and eating sushi at a late-night sushi bar. (That one's out there. I think I just hang with people that do that.)

Alex's picture makes me think: "Seriously, grandma? I don't get to wear clothes?" (This is EXACTLY what he's going to be asking you when you share this photo with future girlfriends when he turns 18 or so. Hehe.)

Good stuff, Denise. Fun to read:-)


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

lol Your tag lines are funny, aykianink. Thanks for taking a peek here. :)


Sharkye11 profile image

Sharkye11 3 years ago from Oklahoma

Loved reading this! I admire you for not just promoting your grandkids for their accomplishments, but for their individuality. That is something very special indeed. Voting up for total cuteness!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thank you for visiting this page, Sharkye11. Boy, time flies, and now they are a couple of years older, all going to school, and Olivia has found her first crush. :) Thanks for the cuteness vote...I think so, but I'm the grandma.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

Since I last commented on your fabulous hub my hubby and I added two more grandbabies to our family. Both of our daughters had girls in March. It was a very exciting month! We do love our 6 grandbabies :)


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Linda, what great news for your family! I would love to have more grand babies, but I'd have to have my children cooperate with me and that isn't going to happen, hee hee. Congratulations to you, Sunshine. Thanks for sharing that here. :)

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