To Lolly, Pop, Mia, and Doc: From the bottom of my heart, thank you…
…for showing her love. All the time. No matter if she’s throwing a toddler tantrum, you calm her down while I shake my head in defeat. No matter if she wipes BBQ sauce all over your dry clean only shirt, you smile sweetly through your frustration. No matter what, you always display patience, kindness, understanding, and forgiveness.
…for showing me love. Even when you don’t agree with my parenting decisions, you don’t cast judgments. You know that I’m doing the best I can, and always offer encouragement, support, and respect.
…for giving her advice. While she’s not old enough yet to truly receive or understand your words of wisdom, you still try to advise her from wrongdoing. When she’s doing something wrong, you steer her away before her dad or I notice so she doesn’t get in trouble.
…for giving us advice. I can’t promise we’ll always follow it, but we are truly thankful for your input. Mom, thank you for sharing with me your infinite baby wisdom. No matter how old I am or how grown my children become, I’ll always call you when I have a parenting dilemma, because in my mind, you still know best. Just promise you won’t laugh when I call you in a tearful rage in 14 years.
…for doing fun things with her. You jump at the chance to take her to the zoo, the aquarium, the pool, the movies, the amusement park, the children’s museum… Forget the admission prices–wallets open a little wider when it comes to spending time with her, watching her learn, seeing her smiles and hearing her giggles.
…for giving us a break. When you’re around, you change her diapers, feed her meals, push her stroller, hold her when she’s upset, push her in the toy car up and down the driveway, read her books, put her to bed, and all the little things we do day in and day out. Those little breaks are so much appreciated.
…for spoiling her. A giant, pink, stuffed dog? Yep, she has one. Ugg boots before she could even walk? Gotta have two pairs. A handmade Christmas dress she wore once? You made it with joy. More toys than she knows what to do with, more clothes than she could possibly wear… All thanks to you. You even buy our dogs toys and treats (and sometimes even clothes) so they never feel left out.
…for ASKING to babysit her. Remember how thrilled you were that first time you kept her overnight so we could go out with friends? Remember that time you happily drove 14 hours to stay at our house and take care of a toddler plus 2 dogs, so we could jet off to California for a weekend getaway? And remember how, when we returned, you thanked us for giving you the opportunity to that spend time with her?! Ask and you shall receive. We aim to please!
…for teaching her. Right now, you play with her for hours, read the same book 20 times over, and patiently work with her on completing a puzzle. Later, you’ll teach her about history and how to bake, and show her how to plant flowers and drive a tractor.
…for being there, even when you’re not. You’re rocking the whole long-distance grandparent thing. You’ve learned to FaceTime and are on a first-name basis with the USPS man. You’ve driven countless miles to visit her and bought us plane tickets to accompany you on fun trips. Your efforts don’t go unnoticed.
…for being plain awesome grandparents. You’re always genuinely ecstatic to see her, whether it’s been 1 day or 1 month. Nothing brings a smile your face as easily as she does. You talk about her and show her off to all your friends and any stranger who will listen. You have 20,000 pictures of her on your iPad (Mom, I’m looking at you!). You think everything she does is the greatest, everything she says is the cutest, and every task she completes means she’s the smartest. Sometimes, I catch you just staring at her in awe.