Nice to live close to the grandkids

My twin grandchildren turned two years old last week, and though everyone told me how much being a grandpa would rock my world, I have to admit I did not expect them to be such an integral part of my life. They live just 45 minutes away, so their grandmother and I have seen them just about every weekend since they were born. Again, I didn’t expect to anticipate those visits as much as I do. The excitement they express when they first see me fills my heart with joy.

Dylan and Rosaline seem to grow both mentally and physically from week to week, and it is fascinating to witness the changes in behavior and speech. For some reason, they have no trouble pronouncing “Grandma,” but they call me “Boppo.” I am not offended. In fact, I wouldn’t mind if the name stuck.

They are obviously not identical twins, one being a girl and one a boy. I haven’t witnessed any of the unspoken communication that can reportedly occur between siblings born minutes apart. Rose and Dylan get along pretty well, largely because they appear to have different interests and desires. Sure, there is some occasional rivalry, and competition can be intense when there is one new toy or other item to be shared. It’s always better to have two of everything. But, for the most part, they get along better than I would expect from two two-year-olds who are beginning to exert their independence.

Some of the differences between the two are fun to observe. I can’t help but wonder whether gender really makes a difference or if their variations have grown out of expectations of the adults around them. I know their parents have not purposely pushed them into traditional boy/girl roles.

Dylan has always been more of a button pusher and block stacker. He is good with his hands and seems to have a natural affinity for shapes and spatial relationships. He is more of a daredevil and climber than his sister and is not afraid to explore on his own.

Rose is more vocal, and she gets frustrated when a puzzle piece doesn’t immediately fit. She can count beyond 10, and she was the first to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” Or, at least we could recognize her version first.

I am amazed at the memories of both toddlers. Though they have only visited my parents’ house a couple of times, they knew exactly where the toys were stashed on Thanksgiving. They remember that Boppo is the one who opens lids and untangles necklaces while Grandma is a place of refuge when things go wrong.

I am looking forward to watching them continue to blossom. I feel blessed that they are less than an hour away, and I am sad for grandparents who are separated from their children’s children by many more miles. The only negative I can see in their growing up is the fact that as they get older, so will I. I guess I’ll just have to get used to it.

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