Thirteen is a goodly number of grandchildren to have. Not too many (though I don't know anyone who would think they had too many grandkids) and not too few.
We actually have quite a spread in ages. Jerry's two children and my four children are not all that far apart in age - ranging from births of 1952 to 1961. But the spread in our grandchildren ranges from 1974 to 2001. We have several great-grandchildren who are older than some of our grandkids. (That's like one of those "I'm my own grandpa" things.)
These last six grandchildren range in age now from 29 to 10. The pictures which I have picked for this blog are there because I happened to like the shot. There are some photos that are not particularly flattering but make me laugh. I could have chosen to show a granddaughter who now is in college and gorgeous, but it is the picture of her years ago wearing glasses that I love the most.
So we'll start today with granddaughter Jill (1984), the only grandchild we had who refused to go in our swimming pool. She was scared spitless of it, in fact. So when her family came to the house, we prepared a sheet cake pan full of water for her to sit in. We put the pan besides the chairs we were sitting in, and she spent her hours by the pool using a plastic spoon and a cup for her entertainment.
Grandson Brendan (1987) and family lived up north and we didn't see them much, not nearly as much as we would have liked. The image I have of him growing up shows him in karate garb, as he and his younger sister both were very interested in that particular sport. His folks often sent us newspaper articles in which their picture appeared, mostly for earning another belt. We didn't have many snapshots sent to us, and newspapers just don't do him justice. Also, I don't think he ever saw our swimming pool, as we sold the house when he was just three years old. To be honest with you, I don't know if Brendan even swims. But as his whole family is musical, he plays a mean french horn.
Sweet little grandaughter Katie (1988) was the quintessential teenager. For those middle years she and her music equipment were rarely separated. It is true that family gatherings sometimes can be boring for a kid, but she always enjoyed herself because she came prepared. She and Jill are siblings. I wish my own sister and I had formed the kind of loving relationship that these two have.
The next grandchild, Caitlin (1992) , is Brendan's sister and is the one I said is really quite beautiful now. These pictures are always so funny to look back on, if you are not the one with the big glasses and a pacifier stuck in your mouth. But to make sure she doesn't become unhappy at being reminded of her childhood image here, I'll note that at the present time she attends USC and plays flute (or maybe piccolo?) in the USC marching band.
The last two grandchildren are the babies. Well, none of these kids are babies anymore but I should be more precise and say "the youngest." Olivia (2001) was born in Los Angeles, and since I retired in 2000 I have been able to be much more accessible to do grandmotherly things for O and her sister than I was with the other kids. She starts middle school in the fall, and her folks, along with us, can't believe time has passed so quickly. Seems like she was just a babe in arms...
Justine (2002) is Olivia's sister, and is the last grandchild Jerry and I will have. She has the biggest eyes and the biggest smile that a child has ever been given, but my favorite of all of her pictures are the few that show her with a pensive look. She's heading to fourth grade this next year, a voracious reader. In fact, both girls are "readers" and think nothing of tackling a 300 page book. And as you can imagine, this does my heart good! Incidentally, the cat is Lucky, who was rescued twice - once from being dumped at 6 weeks of age, and the second at 8 weeks when he fell through a floor heating vent in the girls' LA house and had to be rescued by LA's finest. Lucky is right!
Thus ends the Grandchild saga. We couldn't be more pleased with them if we tried! We think our kids have done a good job of parenting and luckily, negative outside influences have not played many tricks on them.
How lucky we are.