a special feature

Oh the fun of travel, the adventure, and the experience- we all need a little vacation, right? This past winter I had the chance to take a quick trip with my best friend Jenna and her two-year-old daughter McKenna, to visit Jenna’s mother-in-law and new grandma Gigi in sunny Florida. Although I have been on countless trips as a single, I’ve never been part of a traveling sisterhood with a new grandma, new mom and baby. Now mind you, I’ve been watching my best friend’s first baby grow up and I have come to learn and witness the transformation of girls having fun, to girls becoming responsible.  This trip, however, gave me first hand experience and insight in to the new and emerging relationship and dynamics for a new grandma and all others in the family. Hello sunshine!

Airports with a toddler (oh boy oh boy!)

Airports are stressful enough, but throw a cranky toddler into the mix and, it really amps up the stress! As a single traveler, I am used to running through the airport with just enough time to catch the flight, but this time with everyone in tow we needed all the extra time we could get! I really got to see how responsible you must be when another human is involved. My hair stood to attention as I carefully listened to instructions from the flight attendants. No longer was I just thinking about myself. The same behavior, sense of responsibility and attention to detail was multiplied a thousand times by new mom Jenna. And, there weren’t enough baby wipes to cover all the cracks and crevices as Jenna and I cleaned in and around every inch of the airplane seat and space the three of us occupied.

No more sleeping in, 7am wake up call!

Yes, I am guilty of sleeping in to 10 or 11am on vacations. After all, I am just 26 years old! And yes, in a normal single girls’ trip our only movement is from the bed to a coffee cup, to the beach. Now, on this trip put a two-year-old in the mix and a little rooster was calling at 7am. Game on! Watching my best friend and new grandma Gigi attend to the authentic morning smiles of McKenna melted my heart, and gave me a whole new perspective on love, bonding, interaction and family. I was so moved by all of this.

Not your typical Monster-in-law

Yes, we all know that sometimes relationships between new moms and mother in-laws and new grandmas can sometimes be difficult. However, I didn’t witness one second of familial disrespect or thoughtlessness. I see that a child can have such an impact on the family. It was really a pleasure to see the bond between Jenna and Gigi. Instead of not picking on Jenna’s parenting skills and views, Gigi was super respectful of Jenna’s routine and let her parent her way, while being there to assist when needed. I really did notice that communication is key. When we were thinking about having a baby-free night out, we respectfully asked Gigi what her plans were for the week and when a good night would be for her to babysit. Gigi the new grandma was over the moon happy to have the baby all to herself whenever she could. I could see how much pleasure Jenna enjoyed while giving this time to her mother-in-law.

You know, life is about experiences, and paying attention. I believe that having this opportunity to witness and savor the moments, and to experience what I did, added to my own personal dimension. I learned a lot about relationships, motherhood, grandmas, and what dirty diapers smell like before my morning cup of coffee!

*a special feature by Sarina Peddy, executive assistant for Grandparentslink.com
Sarina lives in Sag Harbor,NY and is a child educator, currently working towards her masters degree.
Sarina’s motto is: Remember that children are our future, help them grow!