My father-in-law jokes that his name is “Where’s Grandma?” When my kids hear the familiar shutting of the car door in the driveway, it doesn’t take but a few seconds for them to dash toward the window. 

“Grandma’s here! Grandmas’s here!”

And sure enough, grandma is hereall warm-hugging, cookie-smelling, happy-smiling bit of her. 

But she’s not alone. 

Behind her is the other half of grandmait’s grandpa in his ASICS sneakers and old triathlon T-shirt. 

RELATED: So God Made a Grandpa

The times he enters the house first, the kids are quick to ask, “Where’s Grandma?” It’s not that they’re unhappy to see him. They’re just accustomed to seeing her first. So now it’s become a joke. One he offers up willingly as he sashays into the kitchen declaring, “Where’s Grandma is here!” 

The kids think he’s a hoot. We laugh and wink, a silent reminder that you’re loved too, Pop. 

But we all know deep down, he’s more than just Grandma’s shadow. 

He’s the guy who built cradles for his granddaughters’ baby dolls. The one who rigs up games and obstacle courses in the backyard. The man who sat on the floor rubbing his grandson’s back to help him fall asleep when bronchitis ravaged his little lungs. The one who shows up for 90-degree baseball games in heavy work clothes so he doesn’t miss the first pitch. 

He’s the master joke teller. And the best listener. He’s the garbage disposal for all things “green” or “too squishy.”

RELATED: Dad, My Kids Are So Lucky To Have You As Their Grandpa

He sings his grandchildren’s praises from the rooftops as loud as he snores next to them watching Toy Story.

So, Pop, if you think the kids only care about Grandma, you’re wrong. You don’t hear them ask, “Where’s Grandpa?” because you’re always there

You are seen. 

And that’s what makes a grandpa priceless. 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Jennifer Craven

Jen Craven writes about motherhood in all its complexities. She is also the author of the novels, "A Long Way From Blair Street," and "All That Shines and Whispers," which is set to publish in Februrary 2021. Jen's work has been featured in The Washington Post, Scary Mommy, Motherly, Her View From Home, Huffington Post, and more. Visit her at www.jencraven.com, or follow her on Instagram @jennifercravenauthor.

Our College Visit Disaster: What You Should Learn from My Mistakes

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Mom and teen daughter selfie, color photo

With a song in my heart, I got in the car to drive my daughter to our first college visit.  We drove two hours to a school nestled in the mountains. It was a state school, not too big, not too small.  She knew plenty of alumni from her high school who attended there, and I was convinced it was going to be the perfect fit. We pulled up to the student center, and I jumped out of the car. I glanced around for her and realized she was still sitting in the car.  “Mom, I’m not getting out. I ...

Keep Reading

Everything I Know About Motherhood, I Learned from My Mom

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Mother and daughter walking down snowy path, color photo

I lay in a hospital bed, and the doctor placed my brand-new son into my arms. As I held him close and stared in wonder at this tiny new life, the gravity of being totally responsible for another person settled in with an enormous weight. I could hear my mom’s voice in my mind, “Support the head, hold him close, let him feel you breathe.” Words from my youth when she taught me how to comfort my crying baby cousin. The first lesson I had in taking care of a baby. When I brought my son home from the hospital,...

Keep Reading

I’ll Send You off with a Million Prayers

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Teen walking down sidewalk with suitcase, color photo

I think one of the hardest things about launching your big kids is wondering what baggage they will take with them. Did I give them enough for what comes next? Enough guidance? Enough wisdom Enough confidence and encouragement? Or will they end up carrying the weight of all of my mistakes? My exhaustion? My insecurities? My misplaced fears? What will they hold on to and what will they toss aside as they make room for new experiences, new people, new dreams? RELATED: My Mama Heart Breaks a Little Every Time You Go What lessons will they remember? What moments will...

Keep Reading

Dear Future Daughter-in-Law, I Hope We’ll Be Close

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Wedding preparation buttoning up dress

Dear future daughter-in-law, My son loves you enough to want to spend the rest of his life with you. That’s a big deal. But I hope you and I can have a relationship too. While I think he’s pretty terrific, I want to know all about you and to have a relationship of our own. I know you are more than his significant other—our relationship may be because of him, but it can also be separate from him. Stop trying so hard. Just be yourself, the woman my son fell in love with. I don’t want you to try to...

Keep Reading

My Mom Made It Look So Easy

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Mom twirling little girl silhouette

I assumed I’d have turnkey kids. In my mind, I was a turnkey kid. I survived the toddler stage, complied at school, and learned how to earn favor from decision-makers that nodded in approval when I was developing on par.  From my perspective, parenting didn’t seem tricky. As easy as 1-2-3.  1. You have the kids. 2. You love the kids. 3. You send the kids to school where they learn life and social skills. This naivety followed me for an embarrassing number of years. I can do this, I thought. I can have kids, love them well, show them...

Keep Reading

Grandma’s Christmas Angels

In: Grown Children, Living
Little girl and grandma playing piano

My grandmother had quite a collection of Christmas angels. They were all different shapes and sizes. Some were plastic and some were very fragile—she must have had hundreds of them. Every Christmas, she would bring them out of storage from the attic and artistically design her living room to showcase each of them. The living room was always adorned with the Christmas spirit from floor to ceiling. Every Sunday in the month of December after church, she would always have an open door policy for people to walk through the display of angels. She would greet family and friends with hot...

Keep Reading

It’s Lonely As the Daughter of a Narcissistic Mother

In: Grown Children, Living, Motherhood
Stressed woman on beach

You hear a lot about being mothered during your mothering season . . .  Calling your mom throughout the day to share your ups and downs.  Calling to hear a soothing voice to get you through your child’s tantrums.   Calling to ask your mom to come with you to doctor’s appointments you’re nervous about. You hear about how you now understand what your mom went through raising you as you’re raising your littles. But you don’t hear about the pain a girl feels who longs for a bond with her own mother.  You hear about people inviting their moms...

Keep Reading

She Wore Caesars Woman and It Smelled Like Love

In: Grief, Grown Children
Woman with two children, color photo

They say the brain rewires itself to accommodate for losing one or more senses. A blind person develops great hearing, a deaf person great sight. Neither deaf nor blind, I have some loss of both. The result: a finely tuned sense of smell that intertwines with my memories and emotions. The aroma of cut grass transports me to summer. Cigarette smoke in the bathroom reminds me of my abusive grandfather. Loves Baby Soft powder scent embodies the year 1987. The pages of a book smell of escape. My grandmother’s perfume exudes love. Grandma Darleen shined like a beacon in an...

Keep Reading

When Mom Died, We Had Tea

In: Grief, Grown Children, Living
Table set as a tea party with framed picture of a woman, color photo

My mom was never, ever without a cup of Lipton’s tea. Like a dear friend, it held her hand, kept her warm, provided comfort. She boiled water in her navy-speckled kettle, then poured it into a cup and, completely ignoring the recommended four-minute steep instructions, immediately lifted it to her lips. It always mystified me how her mouth didn’t suffer third-degree burns. Mom’s penchant for thriftiness compelled her to use the same tea bag multiple times; only when it disintegrated and leaf particles floated to the surface did she accept defeat and reach for a fresh yellow packet. RELATED: Moments...

Keep Reading

My Mother Raised Me To Go On Without Her

In: Grief, Grown Children
Mother and grown daughter smiling in selfie

“The kids are spending the night at Grandma’s, and I’m eyeballs deep in Fritos while catching up on all my trash TV shows.” “I had to rush my son to urgent care, but thankfully my mom was able to stay with the three other kiddos while I took care of him.”  “I feel so lost when it comes to homeschooling; thankfully, my mom did it too, so she’s been an amazing guide to have.” To most people, these sentences might seem like wonderful, blessed bits of praise from a daughter about her mother, but to me, they’re like daggers straight...

Keep Reading