Friday, February 25, 2011

Making Memories

Considering that many people have grandchildren, and grandparents are more than a little proud of their own grandchildren, it seems superfluous to indulge in a little grandmotherly pride about my own two little sweethearts. I like to take pictures and videos of their antics when they visit Nana and Papa. I don't need a picture to remind me of the sight or feeling when my two-year-old grandson has to leave to go home after a day of playing with the grandparents. He is told fifteen minutes early that they have to leave soon, but when the time comes, he sits down on a rug near the front door, puts his little face into his hands and sobs. What a moment! The little tyke is so adorable. Naturally, he gets tons of hugs and promises that he can come to visit Nana and Papa again soon. He has no concept of time, but when he arrives at the front door to begin a visit, the happy grin on his face is worth its weight in gold. My grandchildren lead a charmed life and could ask no more of their environment than two doting parents and doting grandparents, but they love to visit grandma's house to play with toys different from the ones at their house. I kept many of their father's toys which they play with now. I don't know who treasures those visits more, the grandchildren, or the grandparents. It is such a special relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren.

I have fond memories of my grandson playing with a tiny wooden train given to his father by his grandma in 1976. It lives on top of the TV in the family room so when my grandson visits, he knows where to find it. The little cars are connected by hooks and one came apart from the others as he played with it. I told him to get Papa to fix it for him so they went to my office to get the computer repair tools and they fixed it with the pliers. They put the tools back into the zippered case, closed it, and returned it to the shelf where it stays. Later that day, another car released, so he took the train back to my office, took down the tool case and pretended to repair it. It was more than his tiny fingers could manage, but he knows when he gets frustrated with something that Papa can fix it. 


Both my grandson and my five-year-old granddaughter like to play "office." When they visit, both can be found in different rooms in front of computers with a telephone(old portables they play with), their pencils, writing pads, and their cups of water. They take notes, answer the phone and play with the computer. Then they sip the water, take a deep breath and give a big sigh as though they just engineered a difficult merger. My son sometimes works from home and has a toddler helper setting up shop near his desk with his own tools and the two-year-old "works" too. When they get him on the payroll too, the family is in business. My grandson will imitate anything he sees an adult doing.  My five-year-old granddaughter likes to play with my computer when she visits. She prefers to use the headphones when she plays games on We sit with them at the computers and help them when they need it. They learn like little sponges and we talk about what they are doing on the sites. Letters, numbers and keyboarding come easily to toddlers with computers.

I sometimes wonder why I don't remember all of the adorable things that I'm sure my son did when he was a toddler but I was too busy to fully appreciate every time his three-year-old eyes would light up and he would throw out his arms while running to tackle my knees and exclaim "Mommie". I do remember those greetings of the days after preschool. Sometimes I pull out my photo albums to look at his youth and remember that he was just as adorable as his children. I wish I had spent more time writing about his moments to treasure. It is so easy to take the day-to-day activities with our children for granted and I am sure all of the bloggers who chronicle the early years of their children will thank themselves later when they have such detailed memories of their babies and toddlers.  

I can state without doubt that this is one of the best moments life has to offer. When my grandson has worn out from playing, I treasure these moments when I have the opportunity to sway and soothe him on my shoulder while he sleeps. I managed to stretch this session over 30 minutes while he snoozed. My arms were almost frozen in place, but I didn't  want to end it until he woke up.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


As our world changes faster and faster, one of the things I will miss will be inventive bookmarks.
I'm afraid that as e-readers become more and more predominate, the printed word will become the electronic word, which will make bookmarks obsolete along with antique record album covers, Kodachrome film, book covers, slide rules, typewriters, and other relics of the past.

I pause to wonder what the museums of the future will display as the great writings of the past  as they now display copies of the original Declaration of Independence, The Book of Kells, The Constitution, or The Magna Carta. Maybe all museums will be online and we won't be able to see the historical past except electronically. The Ancient Library of Alexandria has been replaced by a replica with exhibits showing reproductions of papyrus scrolls.

I'm greatly impressed by the mission of the Library of Congress to preserve the many antiquities of our country and the many generations of media that have come and gone. 

I've always loved interesting bookmarks with beautiful pictures and fabulous quotes. When I was a librarian, even the high school students enjoyed getting a free bookmark appropriate to their interests. The elementary school students competed for bookmarks as rewards for outstanding contributions in the library whether it was for reading a lot of books or sitting quietly during story time.

The possibilities for projects to produce original bookmarks is endless and promotion of bookstores, specific books, or other causes lend themselves very well to bookmark production. However, no one will need them if we stop printing paper books. I hope that is not too soon because there is something nostalgic about holding a print book in my hands. Availability of e-books for new releases isn't 100%, so we still have time before everything can be downloaded to an electronic reader. Even so, for a small fee, one can join huge metropolitan public libraries online and download mass numbers of e-books to a Nook for free. It is getting very tempting.

As I borrow more and more books from public libraries, I like to use bookmarks to avoid creasing pages and damaging the book for future patrons, nor would I write corrections in margins of a public property book. With no more space to store more books in my home, I share books with others at the public library and remind myself not to fold pages, eat over books or drop drinks on them. I don't like to damage my own books and I don't like to deface public property library books. I try to be considerate of other patrons. I haven't yet joined the legions of e-reader fans, but it's on the horizon for all of us. I'm waiting a little longer to jump on that speeding train.