Stillwater News Press

September 22, 2010

Enjoy your time with grandparents, great-grandparents, grandchildren and great-grandchildren

By Marjorie Buchanan
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Grandparents hold a special place in a person’s heart, just as grandchildren and great-grandchildren are dear to grandparents.

Great-granddaughter Brandi was in a public gathering with me and was getting an item for her grandmother (my daughter-in-law). The clerk looked up and saw me with her and told her that I already had that item. Then Brandi explained that she needed it for her “Regular Grandma.” Finally the clerk understood who she meant and the situation was resolved.

When our oldest son was born, he had four living grandmothers. We called Buck’s mother “Ma” so he called her that, too. Ma’s mother was Grandma Clodfelter. My paternal grandmother was still living, and he called her “Grandma Griesel.” There were two Grandma Griesels so he began to call my mother “Plain Grandma.” As the other boys were born, they called her that, too.

When a person has several grandmothers living, it can get to be quite confusing to an outsider. When Brandi was born, she had two grandmothers, “NaNa” and “Grams.” There were also “Grandma Billie,” “Grandma Marjorie,” “Grandma Sharon,” “Grandma Linda,” “Grandma Lola,” “Grandma Hettenbach” and “Grandma Cole.” I’m surprised she could keep all of them straight.

As a grandmother and great-grandmother, I’m fortunate. Most of my family lives close, and I get to see my grands and greats often. I child-sat the older two of my great grandsons from pre-school age to last year, when they became old enough to ride the bus home and wait there until their guardian grandparents got home from work.

Until recently, I was privileged to keep two — and sometimes three — of the younger greats. I picked them up when their school day was over, and they stayed here until their mother got off work.

They’d tell me about their days at school. I looked over their school papers. Then we had an after-school snack and they did their homework. Then we had fun; we read or played or walked or sang.

I truly feel sorry for those grandparents and great-grandparents who don’t get to see their grandchildren and greats often. They’re missing out on much of the fun of life. A friend of mine said it well, “Family is what life is all about.”

If you’re young, enjoy your parents and grandparents. If you’re my age, cherish your time with your grandchildren and greats.

Marjorie Buchanan is a resident of Pawnee County. She can be e-mailed at