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This is Not Just an Excuse to Show You Pictures of My Grandkids
May 1, 2022

This past week, I’ve been off Nana-ing with the Arizona grandkids and it has me thinking about life as a Nana. I used to be a little jealous of my friend whose grands gather at her house every Wednesday for Family Dinner. It’s hard not to envy her opportunity for consistency in their lives and the weekly cousin time they enjoy. 

I, on the other hand, grab weeks here and there to satiate with Nana time. We were fortunate enough to spend a chunk of the last two winters in Florida near our Lily in sort of a pretend “I live near you.”

Cousin Time

The absolute highlight of this past winter was when Adi visited and we had a short, but so much fun, cousin time. Sadly, most of their playdates have been shy, awkward, encounters via FaceTime. But this year our two girls got to go to the beach together and dig a deep hole in the sand with Grandpa and play hide and seek and run and squeal in Nana’s rented condo. They loved it and I loved it even more.

Cousin Time at Nana and Grandpa-Papa’s

My intention for last week was simply to spend major bonding time with Adi and Ben. Benjamin is 5 months old, and this is only the second time I’ve ever seen him. I panic sometimes that our physical distance will permanently hamper our relationship, but by Day Two of this visit, every time he saw us, Ben’s precious face and bright eyes lit up in recognition, and he kicked his arms and legs in excitement, just as I hoped for. 

Ditch the Parents

As any grandparent knows, the best times are those when we get the youngins without their parents. They tend to get in the way. All winter, we had weekly playdates with Lily, and last week, we stole Adi at every opportunity and had so much fun with a sleepover. I look forward to the day when they are old enough to travel with us and we can expand our mini adventures. 

And don’t think I’m not aware of the responsibility involved in adventures. We brought Adi home from the playground with a huge goose egg on her forehead which we were able to somewhat control with an ice pack sought from nearby picnickers, one of whom was a doctor and checked her for a concussion. It was scary and I awakened several times that night reliving the sight of her precious, little head falling into a concrete picnic table as she ran full speed, tripping into it. 

As a nana, I always hope to be a bubble of kindness and total acceptance in each of my grandchildren’s lives. To be a respite from real-life challenges. A soft, love-filled place to land. May I host many dance parties to 1960’s and 70’s music. If you want to see Adi bust out her best dance moves, and Ben laugh out loud, que “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” Take Lily to a drum circle and she’s gonna move to the beat. And thanks to my impeccable Nana skills, both Adi and Lily can tell a mean knock-knock joke and they both love Stacey Abrams’ book, Stacey’s Extraordinary Words. 

Peace Out

I will probably never have a weekly family dinner with my grandchildren, but I will make the most of it when we are together. Years ago, our kids gifted me with a gold, peace-sign necklace that I never take off. All the kids play with it when they sit on my lap and I’ve taught them to sign with their little fingers and say, “peace out! “ 


It’s important for me to acknowledge how important my time is with them, so when we’re walking down a sidewalk holding hands or eating ice cream together, I stop and say, “Right here. Right now.” And they say, “Life is good.” 

And my Nana life? It is good. Very good.

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  1. I can absolutely relate to almost everything you said. Sometimes I become really sad when I think of all I am missing. But, the good times are really good !!!! Facetime does help I guess. Glad you had such an awesome time.

  2. It is so wonderful to see your posts and remember our wonderful newfound friendships in Florida. I have missed you so much. I am going to Indianapolis soon to reconnect with the most important people in my life….my son and my two grandsons! Although they are now 47, 24, and 20 years old. Still my babies and the heart of my lives and all my memories. Treasure them forever! Hope to see you soon. Love you.

  3. So glad that you are creating these treasured memories with your grandchildren. While reading your blog, I was flooded with memories of the special times I had with mine. Like you, our times together are limited with them being in Seattle. Go every chance you get because as you know, the time slips by and their lives get busy. I was blessed to be able to make 5-6 trips/year during those early years. .. then Covid hit when they were 5 and 8 and I had to rely on virtual visits?
    Now their young lives are filled with activities and I envy grandparents who get to attend weekly soccer games, school programs, and sleepovers.
    I do my best to maintain an attitude of gratitude and look forward to those next adventures when they can actually travel here to enjoy some Grammy and Papaw time.. I’m planning ahead for the hikes we’ll take and some Lake Michigan beach time and the simple joys of cooking and baking and gardening and sharing our everyday lives.?

  4. Beautiful! That’s all I have to say.???


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Debi Dixon

Debi Dixon

The Universe is guiding me on an incredible adventure: my Plan B. I write here to share bits of my Odyssey, hopefully to inspire, encourage, or extend the virtual hand of friendship.

When I quit teaching in 2014, I could never have imagined the growth I would experience through travel, writing, reading, therapy, and introspection.

I believe human connection and compassion will go a long way toward our healing, and the best way to connect and feel compassion for one another is through the sharing of our stories.

Thank you for joining me here. I appreciate you and may we grow together.

Inspirational Quote

“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”
~Joseph Campbell

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