Gramma Chelle- now there’s a role I never imagined I’d get to fill. I never had kids of my own, so naturally I couldn’t become a grandmother. Then I met Sal, who has 3 grown daughters, all lovely women. Within the last 3 years two of his daughters have each had a girl and a boy. And suddenly I find myself being called Gramma Chelle. I can’t even find the words to tell you how much I love these kids! Anna is the oldest (she’ll be 3 in September) and we have a very special relationship. And when she says “I love you Gramma Chelle” in that soft voice of hers tears of joy fill my eyes. She’s soft spoken, a little shy, and very gentle, much like myself, so I really understand her and know how to get through to her (sometimes when no one else can).
Anna’s little brother Benjamin was born in February and we just got to meet him recently. Christina (his Mom) and the kids stayed with us for a few days last month, so we had some good quality time with them. Benjamin’s a sweet, happy little baby who already adores his big sister. I can tell those two are going to be close.
This little guy hardly cried at all while he stayed with us. Most of the time he just had a big smile on his face 🙂
Then there’s Sofia, who will be 2 in July, and her little brother Raffaele, who was born in December. So it’s perfect- 2 boys, 2 girls, all within a few years of each other. Since they’re so close in age it will be easier to do things with all four of them.
That’s pretty little Sofia on the left and Anna on the right. When Anna’s here that’s her wagon and she loves having us pull her around the property. (When Anna’s not here that’s my wagon for carting stuff around the property.) Sofia’s just getting old enough to start enjoying things like that. It’s so much fun watching them grow and change. The first time Anna stayed with us it took her a while to get comfortable. This time she was ready to go for a ride in her wagon as soon as she got here!
On the left is Benjamin, and on the right is Raffaele, both happy little boys who hardly fussed at all while they were here. And now I get to make boy toys as well as girl toys. Dragons and dinosaurs along with unicorns and fairies- so much fun! Being the creative critter that I am, every gift I give to these kids is handmade. This last visit it was knit chickens 😉
Since we got new chicks in March I thought this would help them remember their visit fondly. Plus Anna’s my little helper when it comes to the chickens. She helps me collect eggs and isn’t afraid to pet the chicks. She’s a natural with animals- a girl after my own heart ❤ And I just love teaching her about animals, plants, and the natural world. She’s a good listener and has a great memory, so she knows how to pet a chicken, how she has to be quiet and calm if she wants the cats to come out, and how Dewey Dude loves to have his chest rubbed.
And Dewey Dude just adores Anna! He hardly leaves her side when she’s here. He believes it’s his responsibility to be her personal guard dog 😉 Unfortunately both of Anna’s parents are allergic to cats and dogs, so they won’t be able to have pets of their own 😦 Not surprisingly, Anna’s become very attached to our dogs, cats, and chickens.
I’m really looking forward to being a part of these kid’s lives, a loving positive influence, sharing what I know about animals, gardening, nature, arts and crafts, and much more. Sal and I both want this to be place the kids look forward to visiting. The puppets I made for Sal this Christmas have certainly helped in that respect! I never realized what a hit Cowboy Pete and His Faithful Horse Whinny would be (or how awesome Sal would be at doing these puppet shows)! 😀
We even got Anna to decide she DOES like eggs (when she first got here she told us she DID NOT like eggs- LOL). But a combination of picking her own freshly laid egg from the nest and a conversation with Cowboy Pete and Whinny had her loudly declaring she DOES like eggs now. Sometimes you have to get creative with picky eaters 😉
Although I never expected to be Gramma Chelle I see it as a huge honor and blessing. My grandparents raised me, so I have the greatest respect for grandparents and I know how important they can be in a child’s life. My own Gramma and I were very close and I’ll never forget her unconditional love and understanding. I can already see that Anna and I will be very close as well. I’ve always had a very nurturing personality, and if circumstances had been different I might have made a pretty good mom. That wasn’t the course my life took, so I put all that loving energy into my pets and plants (which all thrived under my care 😉 ). Now I finally have children in my life, and I think maybe the role of Gramma is even better suited for me.