Saturday, January 8, 2011

Through every generation. . .

"A child needs a grandparent, anybody's grandparent, to grow a little more securely into an unfamiliar world."  ~Charles and Ann Morse
I wanted to add this post to the Christmas post but realized that I had rambled enough and decided to give it a post all its own.  Claire is a very lucky girl in the same way I was a very lucky girl.  I met my great-grandparents.  I have a very precious picture of me and Papa (my grandmother's father) when I was, maybe, 2 years old.  We are playing a game of Labrynth.  Everytime the marble dropped into one of the holes, apparently, I giggled like crazy.  In the photo, Papa is grinning like crazy and I'm clapping my hands giggling.  You can practically hear the scene just looking at the photo. 
Great Grandmary Christie, Claire and Me
Claire's Great Grandmary is in her 90s.  She has met Claire once.  She lives somewhat far and, although I'm not sure how much she could comprehend about great grandchild she was meeting, I'm grateful they were able to meet when Claire was around 3 1/2 months old.  Soon, I'm hoping to take her back to meet her again, always hopefully that God grants her even a few moments of clarity so that she can register how far into the future she has reached through this little baby. 
Great Grandpa Tamminga (Bapah) and Claire
This Christmas, Claire met, for the first time, her Great-grandpa Tamminga (Christian's family calls him Bapah).  She was enthralled, I think he was in love.  It was adorable to watch.  He sat holding her far a long while and later, when it was time for us to leave he held her while we were packing up the car.   It was a good part of Christmas for them both. 
Claire and Great-Grandpa Johnson

But Claire's "luck" doesn't end there.  Two of her best buddies are my mom's parents.  They get to watch her one or two afternoons a week while I work.  At first, I felt terrible about having them give up their free time to watch her, after all, they didn't have to do what they are doing and I'm sure they have other ways to spend their time than in Chino with my baby.  But I'll never forget my grandpa saying that "watching Claire is so great, gives us purpose!"  (As if being some of the most caring grandparents in the world who are involved in their church and frequently travel to Arizona, Colorado etc. to visit their family and friends wasn't "purpose" enough. :-) ).  I'm grateful she's so loved by them and she lights up everytime she sees them.  

Me, Claire and Great Grandma Johnson

Some people never even get to meet their grandparents.  We are fortunate that Claire will grow up knowing where she came from in a very tangible way.  It's not necessarily common, but we are thankful and we love them very much!       
"But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children. . ." Psalm 103:17

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas Kinda Late

Losta traditions with Clair-ey these past few weeks.  Christmas the most notable.  1. I have to point out Claire and her Christmas dress.  I told EVERYONE who would listen that someone MADE her the dress.  MADE it.  Smocking and all.  I couldn't believe it.  But I'm constantly amazed at the love that people show her and us.  She wore it to Christmas Eve service (and in her Santa pictures from a previous post) which promised to go way past her bedtime.  I worried a bit at how she would handle things.  Turns out, I worried for no reason.  She handled the service like a champ and slept as well as an average 6 almost 7 month old sleeps (I remember she may have woken up once to eat that night). 
The next morning, we did something a little different.  We had Christmas at our house.  Our house!  It was strange. It was different.  I felt incredibly adult--as if moving out, getting into a professional career, getting married and having a baby and turning 30 didn't make me feel like an adult-- hosting Christmas morning for your family definitely put me in that "adult category" in my mind.  While being in Colorado and with more family is the most preferable, usually, having everyone at the Herman house was pretty cool. 
Anyway, after brunch we settled into presents and stockings and Claire ripping into her first Christmas gifts.  She was pretty good for a newbie.  :-)    Our family was very sweet to her.  I'm excited for her to grow into her push car.  She got a little pink cell phone of her own (so, maybe, she'll leave ours alone!), clothes, books, little toys, an apron to bake cookies with mommy. . . fun stuff indeed.  
And, believe it or not, our Christmas was not over.  In the afternoon, we headed out to Murrieta to Christian's parents' where Claire met her Great-Grandpa Tamminga (they call him Bapah) for the first time, played with her Great Uncle Jeff, her cousin, Lila, and of couse, her Herman grandparents and aunt and uncles. I think Bapah was pretty excited to meet her, and she was pretty interested in him too.  After dinner, more presents too entirely too much fun, we left the second Christmas gathering, thankful for family, with all of its quirks and overwhelmed with the sense that we are loved.  That, was the most amazing part of all.