In loving arms, My Three Hearts have found that safe place where they feel secure. They are my NOT boring grandsons that with each passing year, I have made every effort to build a unique relationship with. From the day they were born, I have taken every opportunity to whisper in their ear… “Grandma loves you.”

With each birthday, it is just the two of us that go to the store of their choice and pick out a gift for them. I give each one a budget as we stroll the aisles and add up in our heads their choice for this special gift, thankful for the time we get to spend together.

I have turned into a sideline fan for every sport or event in which I get to see their individual growth and be awed by their spirit that motivates them. I love it when I get to be the “one” that spends the night and be thrilled by the conversations with their never-been-beat poker playing Grandma. One of the activities that we love to do is “oink night.” We make a mad dash to the store and they get to pick out their favorite junk food and movie as we pile under blankets when we return. The laughter is real!

I will never forget the day my daughter called when my middle grandson was seven. His assignment for school was to write about three things that he loved about Home. In that moment I turned into a puddle on the floor as I smiled with tears in my eyes.

  1. Daddy plays games with me.
  2. Mommy buys me games.
  3. Grandma loves me.

One of my favorite parts of being a Grandma are when lessons are learned. At the end of a very full day of playing games at an arcade, we tallied up the tickets to trade for prizes my grandsons did not need. And then I made a suggestion… “let’s give all our tickets to that poor family with 2 boys.” Dumbfounded, they ask why? “I think this family would benefit from the prizes more than us.” My oldest grandson was all in. I glanced at the saddened look of my younger grandchild, BUT it was the happiness on the faces of the family that allowed them to see how their act of kindness with a gift of giving brightened someone’s day. Needless to say, when we returned home the first one out of the car was my younger grandson with a smile on his face and the desire to share this moment with his Mom.

I know all about sibling rivalry as I came from a big family with three older brothers and never had that one place where I could go to feel safe. So, one of the things I do not tolerate is badmouthing anyone in your family. Whenever there are belittling remarks or one boy picks on the other, I put a stop to it. If we are in the car and I hear the back and forth barrage of nasty banter, I pull over and turn the engine off. They know now that we are not going anywhere until apologies are made.

Many a time I have knocked on my daughter’s door and told her to get lost. Some of our activities include decorating cookies, going to the movies, making memories as they loved going on artist tours or visiting museums, hitting the book stores, making the most of any water sport, putting them to work in the kitchen while I prepare a home cooked meal, and this last Christmas we started a new tradition… demolition gingerbread houses.

Last year after our ritual of hot chocolate and banana nut bread on Christmas Day, they presented me with a necklace with three vertical hearts that I will forever cherish. BUT the joy for me was found on their faces as they were so excited for me to open the treasure they had handpicked for me.

My Three Hearts are rapidly leaving childhood behind. Soon I will have to look up to see their smiles and the wondrous light in their eyes. My daughter asks me one day what it is that makes my relationship with her boys so much stronger with each passing year. I told her I am their safe place where love blossoms, where anger is not allowed, conversation and laughter rings true, and along the way lessons are learned.