The Place Between

People always talk about the love a grandparent feels for their child, in fact, my Mother-in-Law, Mattie even told me about it herself one day. “It’s just different than the way you love your own kids. It’s amazing!” What no one ever talked to me about, was how overwhelmingly great it is to see that love, between your parents and your own children.

My boys love to to to their Mema and Pa’s house. Steven’s parents are actively involved in the boys’ lives. The boys know that whole house inside and out, and they cannot wait until it’s their turn to get to go back again.  

Sometimes we have Sunday dinner at Steven’s parent’s house and one of the boys will say something to Mattie, and she will look at him and just smile. And I know I’ve seen that smile before. I saw it in my Grandma Sharp’s eyes when I was a little girl at her house for the weekend. I knew her place inside and out.  There were times, I know she smiled at me like that. As a kid I only half noticed it, as it was quickly forgotten in all the fun and excitement of being at her house. Tucked away in my mind, long forgotten until I’m half blindsided by it as an adult. As I see it right in front of me, looking at my boys.  And the way I hear it in the pride Pa has when he tells you a story about the boys you’ve heard a million times or even witnessed yourself. He can’t help it, he has to tell it. 

If we got to my grandparent’s house before my Grandma got home from work, we would always ask where she was, and Grandpa always said the same thing. “She went to Muskogee.”  Now, we didn’t even know where Muskogee was nor did we believe that she was there, but he could get really convincing and serious in his telling of it, so much so that we probably looked at him like we were halfway to believing it, when she would walk in. When my dad is at our house, he’s always telling the boys something that’s completely not true. He’s very adamant, and they get drawn in and finally he caves and laughs and laughs at his own joke. The same way Grandpa used to chuckle with victory when we’d start believing the Muskogee bit. 

It’s very surreal to find yourself in this middle place. Long gone from your own grandparent’s house and  unconditional love, and seeing it born out in front of you with the generations that sandwich you. Finding yourself wondering what it will be like when those grandchildren are coming to your own house. Hoping that you are able to give to them, what you were given, and what your children received. 

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24 comments on “The Place Between

  1. April says:

    I know exactly what you’re talking about Beth! I love seeing my kiddos with their grandparents! It’s a blessing for our children to grow up surrounded by love, and silliness 🙂

  2. 4kidsonemom says:

    I loved this!!! It’s SO true. I know that look. Is something I think a lot about, now that both of my Grandfather’s have passed, and my Grandma’s are getting much older.

  3. Shanda says:

    beautiful. God set up families in such a wise and wonderful way. You are so blessed!

  4. jennie z says:

    I love how my girls grandparents love on them….nothing like it, that’s for sure.

    Happy Monday!

  5. Audrey says:

    aww, your kids are so blessed to have grandparents like that!

  6. sailing5 says:

    Hi Beth, I’m so glad you shared your new blog! I just started one here as well! http://sailing5.wordpress.com/
    I am sad Xanga went by the way, But I really do like how this site works, so maybe it’s all good!
    Thanks again, Kim

  7. That is so so sweet!! I LOVE to see that, and it does something in my own heart when I see my children enjoyed by their grandparents. We live far away from my parents, but when we visit I love to see my parents delight in my kids, and do special things with them – like going out for ice cream, or taking them to a petting zoo, or just running errands and taking them along. That is SO special! Love this, Beth!

  8. tessfull2 says:

    “She went to Muskogee.” I admit. I googled it. After I chuckled b/c I love that he always said that. Did you know it is in Oklahoma?

    My kids love spending time with Pom-Po as we call him. The girls go to yard sales with Grandma. I am not that close to any of my grandparents and I wish I was.

    • Yes, I know all about Muskogee. It’s just over the border in Oklahoma, not far from our western Arkansas home so it really was a possibility that she’d have gone there. Ha!
      We’ve kept the tradition alive by telling our kids there’s a boys ranch for bad kids in Muskogee where you have to do push ups and only drink bread and water. Someday they’ll realize it’s a real town, just the regular kind.

  9. Rachel says:

    i love this. it resonates with me because i feel this way about my one set of grandparents. they were truly a safe place of unconditional love. when i’m with my parents, i see so much of the way my grandparents were to me as i watch my parents relate to my kids, and needless to say, i cannot wait for more regular opportunities for this to happen!

  10. amber says:

    this makes me all sentimental because i know that EXACT smile you’re talking about. i’ve seen it countless times from my grandma as well, and between my parents now and my kids… so special to have that kind of relationship! a treasure for sure. it’s one of the hardest things for me living so far from them.. that my kids are missing those smiles and times. i know there’s been alot of good that’s come from us not being by any family at all and having to make it on our own, so to speak, and really depend and draw close as our own little family unit – – but my dream and perfect life idea would be to be near family. they say it takes a village and how true! i just want my parents, who are a huge part of MY village, to be a little closer than a 1o hr drive. :/

    sweet, sweet post, bethie lou. xo

  11. I saw my own Grandma Martin as I read this sweet SWEET post. I can still hear her laugh, even though it’s almost seven years since perfect heaven became even more perfect with her arrival. I remember after she died, the little family farmette had been sold, we were meeting back there for a picnic one last time before settlement, and I had m video record the back door of her house slamming shut. It had it’s own sound. And it was such an emotional joy trigger. I will always miss her.

    thanks for reminding me of good times and sharing yours. here’s to being in the sandwich, grateful. wondering. kinda nostalgic and determined to continue the blessings shared. love you.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    I know that look too! I am thankful I still have my grandparents…it is so fun to have my kids know their great grandparents too. The smells that remind you of her in the comment above..that is how I feel about garlic and green peppers. It just brings me to my grandparent’s house on a Sunday afternoon.

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