My son, Will, came home the other day from his babysitter’s with some sweet potatoes that he had dug that day with great grandaddy. It got me thinking about how blessed we are to have such a wonderful support system of a third set of “grandparents” who take care of Will and Harper. Both my parents and my husband’s parents live a little over two hours away from us in West Virginia (and no, I don’t bring up the fact that I’m from WV very often due to the large number of bad jokes about this state; I always claim that I’m from Pennsylvania since I was born in Lancaster and lived there until I was three. My husband is from Florida and moved to WV when he was nine months old, so he tells everyone he’s from Florida, ha!). Anyway, Will and Harper’s babysitter and her family are just like family, which is nice since our family is not close by. Our babysitter, Nana, is a retired kindergarten teacher. Her husband, Pops, is a truck driver. Nana’s parents, Maw and Grandaddy, live right across the driveway from Nana. They live on a family farm where they have horses, chickens, and sheep (plus lots of barn cats, and right now they also have a bottle fed calf named Laci). Their farm is about seven minutes up the road.
You’re probably thinking, how did I meet them? Well, when I first started teaching, I was a special education teacher at a local middle school. I met Jennifer, another fellow sped teacher, and we became friends. Several years later, my husband and I built a house next to Jennifer and her family in the county. We met Jennifer’s parents years ago, and way before we had kids, Nana told us that she would gladly take care of our children. So blessed, not having to worry about finding a sitter once Will was born:) We have quite the set-up: Nana and her friend, Aunt Kathy, both take care of our kiddos. If Aunt Kathy is unable to help watch the kiddos, Nana’s mom comes over and helps out. Nana also takes Will to and from preschool twice a week, and she will do the same for Miss H. and the other little boy (Jennifer’s son) when they are old enough.
Will and Harper are so excited to go to Nana’s each morning. Though it was difficult to drop them off on the first day back to work, it was so easy knowing how loved they are and how much they enjoy being with Nana and Pops. Their days are filled with playing outside, exploring in the barn (feeding the calf, petting the lambs, chasing the barn cats, watching the horses), painting, drawing, playing with Jennifer’s three kids (two are in school, so Will sees them when they get off the bus in the afternoons), making forts outside, and spending time with Maw and Grandaddy. I love that they spend time with people of various ages.
Nana and Will playing ball!