Thank Goodness for Grandparents

Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting my dad while he visited us from Las Vegas. It’s been 6 months since he’s seen RJ in person, and 6 months since I’ve had a bear hug from the man who raised me. Sometimes, you really just need a hug from your dad to let you know everything is alright. Not to mention, his excitement to spend time with his grandson meant mama got a chance to sleep in while GP, as he’s affectionately known now, spent his mornings playing with baby. Watching them play and hang out brought genuine happiness all around. I never knew my dad was such a baby person until I saw him interact with my nephew a few years back, and now to see him with RJ, it’s cemented, he’s a natural baby whisperer.

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My dad has always been young at heart and exhibited this playful spirit that has earned him the nickname “Ohio 17” amongst his friends. So RJ’s rambunctious energy met its match in GP and it was a good time. We spent a day doing some LA sightseeing (Walk of Fame, Graumann’s Theater, Santa Monica beach) , spent a day at home watching movies, and then finished out Babycation 2016 by swimming in a fancy hotel pool by the airport.

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Thank goodness for grandparents!

The best thing besides seeing all of the love shown by GP was the fact that me and The Man got to go on our first post-baby date! In the past we have done family dates because we enjoy doing things with our boy, but this was a welcome and much needed night out for us. We had a couple of drinks at our favorite spots (if you’re ever in Koreatown, you have to check out Beer Belly for some delicious food and beer) I dare not divulge our favorite hole in the wall bar though, for fear that there won’t be a seat for us next time we go, but one night about 2 years ago now, The Man professed his deep love for me here and thus, our baby plan was set into motion.

I didn’t realize how important this was until we actually did it. Every mom needs a bit of time away from baby, for your own sanity, but also so baby can start to build trust with other adults (that you also trust, of course). This date refreshed us, I can honestly say. We were able to have conversation that wasn’t centered entirely on baby or menial household tasks. We could laugh and reminisce and make dirty jokes and have a damn good time. It’s in these moments that I’m able to take a step back and see why I fell in love with this man in the first place. Sometimes baby can cloud all of that because he’s your new #1 focus and even though you discover new reasons why you love your partner in the process, it still makes a difference to spend quality time alone and away from baby. This time alone can re-cement your roles to each other as husband and wife, girlfriend and boyfriend, fiances, etc. I’ve always read that it’s important to continue to “date” your partner throughout your union and even though we both make a good effort to treat each other as such in the comfort of our own home, trust me, it felt good to get away from toys strewn all over the living room and the thought of cooking dinner. I can’t claim to be a relationship expert because I’m just discovering this for myself, but I’m glad I did.

Look how happy we are to get out of the house solo

Look how happy we are to get out of the house solo

So again, thank goodness for grandparents!

Then, the day after GP left, we spent a day with RJ’s halmoni (Grandma, in Korean) out in Redondo Beach for a seafood feast for her birthday. Halmoni is The Man’s mom, for those of you not keeping up. She loves RJ so much and her excitement when she spends time with him is amazing to watch. I experience a bit of a language barrier with my mother-in-law since she mainly speaks Korean, but the happiness she shows when RJ comes around needs no translation. The lunch itself was delicious, but it was time spent with family that was even better. This would make the third birthday now I’ve celebrated with my mother-in-law and this year has been an ever more special one now that RJ is here. Over this 9 months, I’ve not only seen her happiness with her grandson, but with The Man as well. After all, she watching him grow into a great father and that should make any mother proud. I watch closely because one day I will have these same feelings for my son and his children.

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Thank goodness for grandparents!

Growing up, I had a very close relationship with my maternal grandparents (and still do). I will never forget the weekends and summers spent at their house, the road trips to different states to visit family or attend a reunion, they staying up late with my grandma watching reruns of classic TV shows, the rewards for bringing home a good report card, the trips to Toys R Us, and everything in between. And now, whenever we have a family emergency, or I just need an ear, my grandparents are always there for me and for us, no questions.

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Thank goodness for grandparents!

And that goes for “step” grandparents, too. My stepmom lives fairly close by so every now and then she’ll drive up and spend a day with us. A few months back we visited Griffith Observatory, and just a few weeks ago, she came by to help me clean and entertain baby while The Man was out of town.

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Hanging out at Griffith Observatory

I cherish all of my memories with my grandparents to this day (even when Grandma dressed us up like little old people) and I want nothing more than for RJ to have some of those same memories with his own grandparents. I wish they all lived closer. My mom is on the other side of the country, my dad is in Vegas, and his great grands are in Alabama. We’re all spread out but I guess that gives us an excuse to travel.

RJ’s other grandma, holding me when I was tiny


Grandparents are truly special people. They feed you, they listen to you, they help you out, and most importantly, they love you like no other person can. You are an extension of them, they are able to see their kids (your parents) in you, you serve as a reminder of their own accomplishments as parents.

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Little old people

So if you haven’t called your grandparents lately, do that, or take a cue from this guy and have a little fun with your grandma:

Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete.” -Marcy DeMaree

So shout out to all the grandparents. Are any of you mamas, grandmamas? What do you love most about spending time with your grandkids?

 

xo

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The Black Mama

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