At my recent family photography session, my idea of what it means to be a grandparent was taken to a whole new level. The session involved the birthday celebration of two grandsons, one turning one and the other turning three at their grandparents’ home. From the moment I walked into their home, I was overwhelmed with the sense of love and devotion these two wonderful grandparents had for their grandsons. I’m not just talking about the toys and toddler decor that was around, but rather the genuine joy and warmth that I could feel from the entire family that was there to celebrate the birth of these two very special young boys.

Food was of course overtaking the kitchen counters and couches and chairs were filled with family members taking turns holding and interacting with the adorable guests of honor. The boys, who had just made a four-hour road trip from their home in Miami to be there, were not one bit cranky or fussy. I equate their calm disposition to the fact that this was a familiar place, and that they loved being there because this was a place that represented love and fun times to them. Now I too, remember my kids feeling the same way about arriving at their grandparents’ homes when we would visit from Michigan to Florida. But I also remember they didn’t always spring into action right upon arrival. They often needed a little down time and transition space.

This was not the case for these two boys. They were fired up and ready to go. Ready to jump into the huge bounce house that their grandparents put up in the family room, an idea I must say I filed into my brain for hopefully future use, if we are to be so blessed as to have grandchildren. A clever idea indeed to avoid the muggy and humid summer days of living in Central Florida, also a great remedy for the afternoon thunder storms we tend to get too.These grandparents were also ready and willing to dive into the bounce house with them, sliding and jumping with not only their grandsons, but a host of other small kids that were there as well. Another note filed in my brain for later. Spending time with your grandkids, doing the things they like to do, at whatever age they are, is key to building those lasting bonds.

I saw these bonds that were beginning to take shape, when the older grandson yelled for his Grandfather to watch him every time as he rode his car down the track in the living room that he had set up for him. I saw it again when the one year old played a fun, clapping game with his Grandmother that produced tons of giggles from them both, while he was in his high chair. All of these moments, I was grateful to be able to capture permanently for them to look back on. And I’ve definitely got some great ideas for grand-parenting for down the road too.

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