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Don’t Blink

Written by Betty Streff

In just over a month I will have been a grandmother for 15 years which sort of takes my breath away when I think about it.  All parents look back on raising their children and wonder where the time went.  Here’s a news flash- grandkids grow up even faster, at least that is the way it seems.  I am again reminded to savor the little moments because they melt away like sand silently slipping through an hourglass.

I have mentioned that we have been outrageously blessed to have our grandchildren nearby and in the last few years, all six here in town, minutes away.  We have had more than our share of lake days, holidays, impromptu football or baseball games, last minute picnics, sleep overs and vacations.  King Solomon did not have riches enough to buy what we have enjoyed.

I see glimpses now of grown up grandchildren with schedules so busy that it gets harder and harder to carve out those family moments.  A couple of weeks ago we threw together some food, mostly take out and had a spur of the moment evening together.  It was a gorgeous evening and the kids played basketball by the headlights of Papa’s truck.  Papa had spent the previous weekend making and mounting a new backboard emblazoned with their school colors.  

Eventually we all gathered around our little fire pit and made s’mores.  The circle of family with all their faces reflecting the warm glow of the fire brought tears to my eyes; a perfect, fleeting Kodak moment.  Our middle grandson Nick settled in and said, “we ought to do this more often.”  Amen, buddy, I wish I could freeze things as they were at that hour.

But kids and grandkids grow up.  Warm, cuddly little bodies grow into long legged bony kids that resemble young colts and soon I will be looking up to the oldest two.  Our little guy is going to be five soon and even he is becoming angular, quick and handsome. Our life story is a series of little chapters.  Each brief, each passing.  It would be easy to get sad when I see this favorite chapter in the book of my life coming to a close.  It’s certainly not here yet, but I can see it coming over the horizon. I choose to take Dr. Suess’s advice as I reflect on what lies ahead.  “Don’t cry because it’s over.  Smile because it happened.”  I try, but sometimes my eyes still leak.

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About the author

Betty Streff

Betty Streff began her career as a customer service representative for a large corporation in Omaha. Four years later she found herself to be a farm wife in a small rural community with limited opportunities for women. After a humbling self assessment, she listed her assets as talents for sketching, sewing, and the natural ability to strike up conversations with complete strangers. Using these and her optimistic nature, she began stitching up some bibs and pillows for a craft show, who wouldn’t?

Over the next 25 years she became a serial entrepreneur obsessed with studying faith, spirituality, leadership, motivation, and management as she developed her businesses. Betty has spent the last few years working in corporate America in the hospitality and manufacturing world and she continues to immerse herself in the study of what makes people tick.

The explosive growth in the relatively recent science of positive psychology fascinates her. Betty devours everything she can find on the subject and is especially intrigued with people who thrive no matter the circumstances and in discovering ways that happiness and optimism can be learned. She is currently exploring ways of sharing and cultivating the exciting possibilities with both individuals and businesses.

She and her husband Steve have been married 45 years and are blessed with 2 incredible daughters, 2 fantastic sons-in-law and 6 amazing grandchildren.

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