Gramps and Granny Nanny, and Owen

In a few days, Stuart and I will move a second time in less than seven months! Our journey has taken us from the Midwest to the South to the Northeast. By the end of this week, we will be living in a Brooklyn highrise. And by August 1, we will be sharing a new job–daytime caregivers for four-month-old Owen William. We plan to stay for ten months.

We will be describing our adventures in a new blog called Granny Nanny Diaries. More about that when we start blogging from Brooklyn, but you can find the two first posts in the link above.

In the meantime, 100memoirs will continue to roll out regularly, just like we will– when the alarm goes off for our new job of taking care of Owen. We feel excited, and a little nervous, to be making yet another dramatic change.

But when we were courting (don’t you love that old-fashioned word?), we chose the Conestoga Wagon as an image for our marriage. We wanted to be pioneers, together. So hitch up the horses, Stuart, here we go again!

Are you a “granny nanny” or “grampy nanny”? Do you know others who are? What wisdom can you share with us? We invite your prayers for our safety (and Owen’s safety), for lots of energy and a spirit of curious joy, and for the daily strength to pay attention to the most important things.

Shirley Showalter


  1. friesengroup on July 20, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Prayers – yes! For wisdom, energy, and love as you serve in a new way, making memories and bonds as a family that will last a lifetime.

    • shirleyhs on July 20, 2011 at 5:14 pm

      Thank you so much, Kathleen. I love your prayer–and I ask for the same for you. Wisdom, energy, and love. The deepest of deep gifts.

  2. Rachel Miller on July 20, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    I am a Grannie Nannie and am amazed that I like it as much as I do. When I first came to Brooklyn I was amazed how many adults had parents caring for their little ones, plus they all livid together. Many people felt sorry for me that I had four adult kids and none lived with me. I’ve turned into a Brooklyn Momma. At this stage, I am quite convinced that no other Nannie could possibly care for Rome like I do! I’m constantly amazed by him! I still work three nights a week!

  3. Rosemary Rawlins on July 20, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Oh, I don’t even know you but you touch my heart so much. You are the only blog I am able to seem to follow (don’t tell). Safe travels, and sending a “white light of protection.” That’s always the sendoff for our family members. Best of luck!

  4. shirleyhs on July 20, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    “White light of protection.” I love that phrase. Thank you for including us in your own family blessing. And I am always touched knowing that my words reach you, Rosemary. You honor me with that gift, too. Blessings on your own journeys, inside and out.

  5. Ruth Lapp Guengerich on July 20, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Best wishes to both of you in this fun sojourn. I am grateful for the incredible trust that our children put in us as grandparents to care for their children. When I told my daughter that It is an honor to be entrusted with these young precious lives, she responded that we did a good job with her and her brother, so why would we not do a good job with her sons? Prayers of blessings for both of you. Will look forward to all you learn and the joys you have of caring for Owen. This will be special bonding time.

    • shirleyhs on July 20, 2011 at 9:02 pm

      Your daughter is right. You did a great job with her and her brother. I remember. 🙂
      And it is exciting to have another chance to nurture the very, very young. We’ll try to improve on the first time around without ever expecting to get it perfect. Thanks so much, friend, for your support. It means a lot.

  6. Katie Boyts on July 20, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    How lucky little Owen is! I’ve been nanny for a friend’s family for 6 months now and it really is a wonderful experience, (And they’re not even my family!) so I can only imagine how rich this time will be with him. Have fun!

    • shirleyhs on July 20, 2011 at 9:05 pm

      Thanks, Katie!! Wow, I hope you follow Granny Nanny Diaries so that we can benefit from your experience. I haven’t really explored granny blogs. Have you?

      I’ll have to check out other grandparenting blogs, too. So much to learn!

      I hope readers who come here will check out your blog also. You have a great thing going over at the Shoofly Project.

  7. kateashowalter on July 20, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Looking forward to following your new adventure via the new blog! Just added it to my reader. I’m a big fan of Owen Showalter…

    • shirleyhs on July 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm

      Welcome to the comments section of 100memoirs, Aunt Kate! We look forward to describing the growth and development of your favorite nephew.

  8. Richard Gilbert on July 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    How exciting, Shirley. I am guessing you all decided it makes more loving sense to help raise your grandchild than for the parents to have to farm him out to caregivers in Brooklyn. That sure makes sense to me—comeback of the supportive extended family. Anyway, he’s one lucky kid! Blessings on your new adventure.

  9. shirleyhs on July 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Yes, Richard. We are trying to create an urban analogy to the rural life of extended family. Owen will be “farmed out” to family before he goes off to daycare. His own parents did a fabulous job in the first four months, and we can take him to 14 months. Fortunately, there are other good options for him after that, too. But it is hard to substitute for family! We are fortunate that our current work, not tied totally to offices elsewhere, allows us to do this. Thanks for your blessing, and let me return the blessing to you!

  10. Sally Jo on July 22, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    You and Stuart are very lucky. I’m sure Owen will grow up to be a better person because of both of you! I wish you energy and patience.

    • shirleyhs on July 22, 2011 at 2:39 pm

      We feel lucky, Sally Jo. Thanks for offering this blessing. We will need all the energy and patience we can get! Blessings on your own grandmothering adventures. Be sure to offer your experiences and ideas on the granny nanny posterous blog. I would love to find a whole group of grannynannies. You don’t have to move to qualify!

  11. Margaret Benefiel on July 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Wow, Shirley! What a wonderful adventure. Owen is very lucky to have you and Stuart as grandparents. I love the Conestoga Wagon as the image for your marriage — you and Stuart continue to be open to pioneering journeys. Blessings on this newest one.

    • shirleyhs on July 23, 2011 at 9:41 pm

      Well,the Conestoga wagon has traveled through the Holland Tunnel, navigated the crowds on Canal Street, crossed over the Manhattan Bridge, and arrived on Myrtle and Flatbush in Brooklyn. Your message arrived as we were doing all that. Thanks so much for your blessings. Same to you in your adventurous life. So glad that social media allow us to stay connected!

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