GREAT-Grandparents

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This week has seen two of mine and Red Rose Daddy's Grandmothers being the focus for our attention, for two very different reasons and, having seen Bud interacting with his much-loved Great-Nannas I have been thinking about how lucky he is to know them and to have them in his life.

My Nanna fell and broke her hip last Saturday, this was obviously very worrying and we've been back and forth to the hospital to visit her all week. I've taken Bud a couple of times and she has been delighted to see him. He takes it all in his stride and wasn't bothered that his Great-Nanna was in bed, perhaps he is just too young to sense a difference? In general, I don't really want him spending too much time there and am conscious that he could create a ruckus, I'm sure the other ladies on the ward wouldn't find him quite so delightful if he did! He has been a big hit so far. It really is such a shame though. She will be 90 next year and still lives independently, with a little help from the rest of the family, and we are all hoping that it doesn't lead to an increase in frailty as her fearsome independence will not take kindly to that!

Red Rose Daddy's Nanna is 80 on Monday and she celebrated her birthday tonight with a big family party. I really thought Bud and I would have to miss it as we had a lovely bout of sickness to contend with (Bud's) this afternoon but he woke from his nap feeling brighter so we went along for a couple of hours. I know the rest of the family would have been very disappointed not to see him and they love seeing how much he has grown (those who don't see him regularly). We were home by 10pm and Bud is now sleeping peacefully so, fingers crossed, he will feel better tomorrow.

Anyway, back to the point. All my great-grandparents died before I was born, and Red Rose Daddy's too. My parents, in fact, only knew one each of their grandparents and they were long gone by the time I was born even though my Mum was a child bride and barely 18 when I was born. Bud has the full complement of Grandparents (thank goodness! I'm hoping they get to be Great-Grandparents too!) and three Great-Grandmothers. In the space of the last 50 years families have changed an awful lot, with the older generation achieving much longer life expectancy and taking a much more active role with their Grandchildren. I used to love talking to my Grandparents and spending time with them when I was small and I know Bud adores his too. I know, as children grow, Grandparents and Great-Grandparents can become more distant figures but I'm determined that this special relationship will continue for my boy and our respective sets of parents and remaining grandparents. He can, and will, learn so much from them. I especially treasure the photos we have with his Great-Grandmothers which so clearly show the joy that the others' company brings them.

As for me, I am trying to connect to the previous generations of our families by tracing our family history. I want to be able to show it to Bud and say 'look, this is where you come from.' It is a massive, ongoing project but I love spending time digging through the records and the old family stories and learning more about the lives my ancestors led. I'm back to 1799 on one branch of my tree and definitely looking forward to moving further back in the future. I've already got some interesting stories which I will share with you in another blog post.