What My Year-Old Grandson Taught Me

Children grow up way to fast!

The only thing on my fall schedule was writing. After a couple of hectic years, I looked forward to a new book, fresh characters, researching medicine, and adventurous settings.

Until one of my grandson’s babysitter found out she had cancer. Even though doctors had caught it early, thank goodness, she had to have surgery and thus three months off. I knew my son would be asking me to help. It brings me no pleasure to admit I cringed.

At first, I felt a strong need to say no, even before my son or daughter-in-law had asked for help. We live in a small reservation community and there are not many available caregivers. I felt overwhelmed and burnt out and needed to write. I had planned on writing only one book this fall and winter and looked forward to a more relaxed schedule.

Then at a conference in San Antonio, Texas, for kicks and with no expectations, I pitched my Inspirational Romantic Suspense novel (IRSN) to an editor. Normally for fiction, a book needs to be completed before approaching editors and publishers. Mine was not. There were holes to fill in and the timeline adjusted. Unexpectedly, she said she wanted to see my manuscript. I had, as we call in the writing world, an ugly first draft completed. My manuscript needed a good scrubbing, to say the least.

“But first,” I told her, “I have to finish my final young adult book and the curriculum that goes with it, so can I have a year to polish it?”

She smiled and said, “Of course. I want nothing but your best.”

I felt added pressure but not the same hectic schedule I had as President and Past President/WILLA Chair for Women Writing the West and penning three novels, a complete Young Adult Curriculum, book signings, speaking engagements, horses, husband, and family. I never mean for my schedule to get so out of control, but when things happen, I believe they are for a reason.

I’ve learned faith and prayer always brings me through life’s pile-ups. So I began praying for a settled heart.

I decided my time with my grandson was a gift and in no way a burden and chose joy. After all, our outlook either helps or hinders any given situation. Helping any of my sons and their families whenever I could have always been important to me. Why was this any different?

So what did Trey teach me?

  1. Patience. Coming off a two-year whirlwind, it was a struggle for the first few weeks to slow down and play. I mean come on, who doesn’t like to play with cute babies?
  2. I learned to adjust my attitude each morning, no matter how fatigued I was, and greet the day with a smile. After all, most weeks I only had him a couple of days. A few times up to four days a week and when his two sisters broke for Christmas, I had them all for a few days.
  3. Trey taught me to rest. Many times I let his morning nap be in my arms as I watched Hallmark movies or caught up on episodes of Heartland. During his afternoon nap and in the evenings I wrote my final young adult novel and took care of my IRSN’s timeline.
  4. He reminded me how precious grandchildren are and my time with him as a year old was limited.
  5. I realized how much of a blessing our 2 &1/2 months together were as I prayed away the lie my work was more pressing than he was.
  6. Trey showed me how to get my focus off of self and my work and onto others. With my husband working out of town during the week, it’s easy to get into a writing routine. I’m not always pleased when the routine gets off balance.

In the end, I was reminded of what balance looks like in my life.

I was reminded family is most important.

I was reminded of how precious grandchildren are.

What lessons has life taught you?

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  1. Alice Trego says:

    Great post, Carmen, and a wonderful reminder that grandchildren are an important part of family. I’m glad Trey taught you some of the best of life’s reminders. These reminders caused me to reflect on my recent weekend with my two grandsons, ages 5 and 8. Though sibling rivalry and extreme rambunctiousness seem to dominate at these ages for boys, it wasn’t until I took them home that my son said to me, “It’s good that you had time to spend with the boys. You all are building character.” Isn’t this what we do when we write our stories, too?

    1. Carmen Peone says:

      Oh, Alice. Well said. Yes, we do build character with family and then transfer those experiences to our writing. Thank you for sharing your insight. It’s always valuable.

    1. Carmen Peone says:

      Thank you, C.M. He’s made me laugh and have fun so many times.

  2. A perfect life lesson, and I do believe you will be better for it. I think, too, our writing grows when mixed in with real life. Love and best wishes with your new book!

    1. Carmen Peone says:

      Celaine, I so agree with you. all of what you have said is spot on.

  3. Hi Carmen,
    I can sure relate. I have my two grandsons at times too. And some of those times I’d rather be writing, but it all gets done and I have those wonderful moments with my grandsons. Thanks for a great post.

    1. Carmen Peone says:

      Judy, our work does get done, doesn’t it? These times are precious and we can’t get them back.

        1. Carmen Peone says:

          Thank you, Judy. The site won’t open, says nothing found? Is there another link? You are so kind!

  4. What worthy lessons from a babe. You deserved the rest, but even more, you deserved the blessings. Good for you, my friend.

    1. Carmen Peone says:

      Thank you, Mary. I have him this week while his family is in Disney Land. He’s such a joy! I love their curiosity at this age.