POST 50
09/11/2015 07:14 am ET

19 Adorable Photos Show Just Why Grandchildren Are So Special

National Grandparents Day -- coming up on Sunday, Sept. 13 -- is the perfect time to showcase the precious bond grandparents enjoy with their grandchildren.

We asked you to tell us about your own grandparents -- and your own grandchildren -- and we were inundated with lovely stories. On Wednesday, we published our tribute to grandparents and, today, it's the grandkids' turn.

Check out these 19 gorgeous photos -- as well as many more included in the slideshow below. What beautiful families!

Happy Grandparents Day everyone!

  • Avenay Isabelle and Amalia Joy
    "I love to sing the songs I learned and sang as a little girl to and with my granddaughters. I've taught the oldest, 3-year-o
    Sylvia de la Sancha
    "I love to sing the songs I learned and sang as a little girl to and with my granddaughters. I've taught the oldest, 3-year-old Avenay Isabelle, my childhood favorites such as 'Do-Re-Mi' and 'A Spoonful of Sugar,' while she has sung and shared with me the chorus to some of her favorite tunes like 'Shake it Off' and 'All About That Bass.' Not only do I want them to have fun playing with rhythm, melody, and dance, it’s important to me that Avenay and her baby sister, Amalia Joy, grow up learning that music and singing can make them feel happy, as well as make their spirits soar when feeling down." -- Sylvia de la Sancha
  • Gardner, Nathan, Savannah and Samuel
    "I never had kids. Yet I am a grandparent. I inherited my mate’s children ( a boy and a girl), when they were 19 and 15
    Tom Parrish
    "I never had kids. Yet I am a grandparent. I inherited my mate’s children ( a boy and a girl), when they were 19 and 15 respectively. While he and I struggled, to say the least, I felt like a bond was created with the younger of the two right off the bat. Time passed and things happened and people grew and all of a sudden we were all adults, and they were having babies themselves. My mate was thrilled at the prospect; personally I didn’t know how I felt. When I saw her joy, I made a decision to be a part of it. I would do anything she said or needed as far as these grandkids were concerned. I really didn’t know what that entailed. Then there was a son, born to the oldest. Yes him, the one I’d been locking horns with for all those years. He presented his child to me and said 'say hello Grandpa.' It meant the world to me, and from that point on I was all in." -- Tom Parrish
  • Madelyn and Jesse
    "I was born in Denmark in 1950. Our daughter and only child was born (1985) in Milwaukee, where we had two Danish furniture s
    Karen Horsted
    "I was born in Denmark in 1950. Our daughter and only child was born (1985) in Milwaukee, where we had two Danish furniture stores. However, we moved back to Denmark in 1987, and so Anne (our daughter) spent her entire childhood in Denmark. We talked a lot about America as she was so ready to move back after graduating high school. Her U.S. adventure has been a fairytale. She graduated college as an A-plus student. Her husband is from the South (one of the best) and they have given me the most wonderful grandkids. The boy is now 5 and the little girl is 3. I have moved from Denmark to live close to my wonderful family and I am a proud American now. I got my U.S. citizenship in May this year. At the age of 65, I have published a series of memory books. My grandkids have been my inspiration and I hope seeing what I have accomplished might inspire them one day." -- Karen Horsted
  • Liliana and Atahualpa
    "My granddaughter, Liliana, and my grandson, Atahualpa, moved back to the United States six months ago -- with their parents,
    Joseph Seldner
    "My granddaughter, Liliana, and my grandson, Atahualpa, moved back to the United States six months ago -- with their parents, of course -- after two (for me at least) excruciatingly long years in Ecuador. Lili and I have always been close, and at 8, she is at an age where innocence, wisdom and insightful observation are all bursting at her energetic seams. Funny, sweet, incredibly thoughtful and kind, she has the most generous heart and boundless spirit I have ever encountered. And she is gorgeous. Ata, 2, is in constant motion, reveling in repeating every word he hears, laughing at nearly everything I say, funny or not, and running far too fast for the tiny legs that propel him. We picked up where we left off when they went away. Every park is a stage for Lili and me to play her game of the princess who confers super powers to others. Every walk is a chance for me to savor the simple pleasure of holding Ata’s hand. What can I teach them? That their talents and energies are limitless. That they should always believe in themselves and always know I believe in them. What can they teach me? How much one person can love another." -- Joseph Seldner
  • Tyler, Finn and Carlos
    "About two months ago, while having afternoon tea and goreng pisang (fried bananas) in the dining room of our semi-detached b
    Benedict Morais
    "About two months ago, while having afternoon tea and goreng pisang (fried bananas) in the dining room of our semi-detached bungalow in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, Tyler, my only granddaughter, suddenly exclaimed: ‘Grandpa, you and Grandma must be very rich!' I was pleasantly surprised and at the same time perplexed by this statement coming out of the mouth of a smart, perceptive 5-year-old. I asked her why she thought we were very rich. Tyler’s answer pleased me and my wife greatly. She replied that every time she and her two brothers, Carlos, 10 and Finn, 2, came over to our house for the weekly, day-long Sunday visit, we had something nice for them. She said that our fridge and cupboards seemed to be full of chocolates, Snickers, fruit cheese from Australia, biscuits, mangoes, oranges, bananas, peaches in cans, watermelons etc. That led her to the inescapable conclusion that we must be very rich to always have a stocked fridge and cupboard filled with a variety of goodies for our dear grandchildren. We love them very much." Benedict Morais
  • Ava and Olivia
    "My name is Karen, and I have two beautiful granddaughters, one I only see every other Friday. I love going to the park and t
    Karen Zerbe
    "My name is Karen, and I have two beautiful granddaughters, one I only see every other Friday. I love going to the park and taking them for walks and to go shopping. A girl can't have too many clothes. Although they are still young, I want them to learn to be respectful and how to grow as strong independent girls and women, and that anything is possible if you work hard and believe in yourself. Grandma loves you Ava and Olivia." -- Karen Zerbe
  • Abby, Chandler, Kennedy, Brynlee and Knox
    "My senior year in high school I was voted, 'Most Likely to Never Have Children.' It was 1974 and I was ready to leave my sma
    Teresa Kindred
    "My senior year in high school I was voted, 'Most Likely to Never Have Children.' It was 1974 and I was ready to leave my small town behind and have adventures, not children. Then I met Bill and, as they say, the rest is history. Much to my surprise I loved being a mom. Bill and I had three children and decided we wanted one more. At the age of 36 I gave birth to identical twin boys. Our years of parenting were crazy but fun and I dreaded having an empty nest, but our nest never emptied. Before our twins left home our first granddaughter was born to our oldest son in 2005 and since then we have been blessed with four more grandchildren who call me 'Nana.' Grandchildren's smiles, kisses and hugs are priceless! I love it so much I started a blog for grandparents called NanaHood.com in 2009 and since then have added NanaHood Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts." -- Teresa Kindred
  • Ashlyn and Lyla Joy
    "My granddaughters means the world to me. I have a 5-year-old and a 10-month-old. I know lots of grandparents feel that way,
    Terrie Briones
    "My granddaughters means the world to me. I have a 5-year-old and a 10-month-old. I know lots of grandparents feel that way, but my 5-year-old brought back something in me that was missing. When my children were young, I was so blessed to be able to stay home with them. It took me forever to get pregnant. But then I adopted my oldest son and got pregnant two years later. I was the typical Room Mom, PTA President, Coach, Team Mom. When they moved on to Jr. High and High School I felt that I wasn't needed as much and I got the 'what now' syndrome. And then my oldest son ended up having a baby with his girlfriend in high school. Of course, at first you think my son's life will never be the same. He will never be able to do the things he wanted, but that one little girl has brought so much life, love and joy to all our lives. I am forever grateful that she came along. We are like two peas in a pod. Everyone calls her my mini-me. They wonder how someone can be so much like you when she's not your biological grandchild. I never think of her or my son in any other way than mine. My loves." -- Terrie Briones
  • Thomas and Elliot
    "We live in New Mexico and have two grandsons, Thomas, 7, and Elliot, 3. They live in London, England, and so we have only me
    Teresa and Robert Montano
    "We live in New Mexico and have two grandsons, Thomas, 7, and Elliot, 3. They live in London, England, and so we have only met them twice. Through Skype, though, we have become as close as any grandparents could be with their grandchildren. Thomas will Skype Grandpa and they make things and chat about their day. We celebrate birthdays and other special occasions. We make decorations and hang them up in our room and they do the same so it feels we are together. We read, sing, and dance with them, and they love to receive cards and letters and photos, which gives them so much joy to chat about on Skype. Elliot loves to enlighten us about the games he has been playing. The distance between us has made no difference to the wonderful relationship we have with them. They have learned through us that -- despite the distance -- we can still make them feel special and loved. They know that no matter how many thousands of miles away we are, we still are here for them at any time." -- Teresa and Robert Montano
  • Rangely
    "I have a beautiful and smart granddaughter. I love just spending time with her. I could just share my breakfast or read a bo
    Valerie Sharritts
    "I have a beautiful and smart granddaughter. I love just spending time with her. I could just share my breakfast or read a book to her while she sits on my lap. It was fun to sit on the floor trying to teach her to roll a ball, or to go to the zoo and see the wonder in her eyes. It really doesn't matter what we do. I was soooo lucky to have had the chance to babysit my almost 1-year-old granddaughter this summer. I've learned so much from her! I've learned that trust comes from the smallest interactions. I'm taught about unconditional love all over again. So what does a calculus-teaching, ski-instructing, motorcycle-safety-instructing grandma want to impart on her granddaughter? I hope through my enthusiasm and love of life, love of adventure, and love of learning, to give her that same encouragement in her life that she as a girl, young lady and woman can do anything she sets her mind to. Yup, that's what I'd like to impart to her, woman to woman!" -- Valerie Sharritts
  • Noah, Kaya, Cassidy, Brandon and Zachary
    "About 10 years ago, a dear friend of mine gave me a wall plaque that says 'Some of the Greatest Blessings call me Grandma.'
    Donna Andersen
    "About 10 years ago, a dear friend of mine gave me a wall plaque that says 'Some of the Greatest Blessings call me Grandma.' This sentiment does more than hang on my wall; it’s etched in my heart. I have three grandsons and two granddaughters, ages 13 to 6. I’ve been divorced for many years and so am a 'single Grandma.' This was cause for concern when the grandchildren were younger because I was the only person they knew who lived alone, and it kind of worried them. Now they see that there is more than one way to be happy. While it is always a wild and wonderful time when the whole family gathers together, my delight has been to have each grandchild come for individual overnight visits. Focusing on each child separately has been special for them and for me. I live by the ocean and have loved taking them on hikes or for boat rides in the bay. We find our favorite restaurants, take a lighthouse tour or go to a play, watch a movie or play games, walk to the park or walk on the beach, chat in the car or listen to music, and read out loud together. I hope I have helped to give them a sense of the variety, beauty and fun all around us. I think I’ve done something right because the oldest refers to Grandma’s house as his 'special resort!'" -- Donna Andersen
  • Hunter
    "In late fall 2013, as I was about to turn 70, I took my oldest grandson, who's now a strapping 6-plus footer, down to Cocoa
    David Day
    "In late fall 2013, as I was about to turn 70, I took my oldest grandson, who's now a strapping 6-plus footer, down to Cocoa Beach, Florida. I treated him to a group surfing lesson and, on the beach, took pictures of the small class learning the art of paddling out through sizable waves, waiting for a set of waves, and trying to stand up. Meanwhile, I took the pictures, all the while thinking to myself, 'Boy, does that look like fun. Maybe I could try it too!' In October, with him back in school, I took myself back down and signed up for a private surf lesson with a lithe young 'surfer dude.' He put me through the paces, in tumultuous surf and, at the end of the session, and many wipeouts later, I managed, somehow, to 'pop up,' with something that might generously be called surfing. Totally stoked about my newfound skill, I went online to see what was available for us 'silver' surfers and found almost nothing. I began to contribute as an older surfer to a large online surfing blog, www.theinertia.com, and arranged to talk to groups of fellow seniors about the thrills of taking up the challenge of something -- in my case, surfing -- in order to remain fit and active. The important takeaway is to choose an activity that you enjoy and that gets you out of the chair, moving your body. And so, twice yearly, my grandson and I try to make it to Cocoa Beach or the rock-bound coast of New Hampshire for a surfing session. He always puts me to shame with his youthful prowess on the waves, but I try not to care, excited as I always am, with just riding those waves. And sometimes, I can almost stand up!" -- David Day
  • Kishi and Kai
    "A few years back, a non-white member of my family made a passing comment to me that indicated he felt I was a racist. When I
    Valerie Strahl
    "A few years back, a non-white member of my family made a passing comment to me that indicated he felt I was a racist. When I asked him to clarify, he demurred, not wanting to get 'into it.' It was unfortunate because we might have had a good conversation. I could have explained to him how I was raised. My parents and my grandmother were supporters of the civil rights movement. I was taught we were all equal and it never occurred to me to think otherwise. I could have explained to him one major reason I married his relative, my second husband, was because we shared that belief. My husband has since died and I miss him because he and I were like-minded. We also both loved our mixed-race grandchildren without question. I’ve been fortunate. My son is alive. I’m proud of him: proud of him completing college, starting graduate school, and proud that he’s employed and happily married. But I’m most proud that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. I didn’t preach to him about equality, he just picked it up. He survived being raised in the conservative Southwest and emerged without becoming a racist. I hope for the same thing for my grandchildren. We all keep hearing that the younger generations are more accepting of race, gender differences and nationality. But it seems to me that things aren’t changing fast enough. It’s time for kids to stop being killed on the streets of America because they are of color." -- Valerie Strahl
  • Tyler, Logan, Caden, Tegan
    "Seeing the world through the eyes of my grandchildren is something I never really thought about before they were born. It al
    Alli Smith
    "Seeing the world through the eyes of my grandchildren is something I never really thought about before they were born. It all changed the day I was along for the ride when my grandkids flew on a plane for the first time. The experience through their eyes was nothing short of remarkable. Normally, I would be reading a book, but the sparkle in my 6-year-old grandson’s eyes as the plane took off caused my own eyes to sparkle. Family beach vacations have taken on a whole new meaning. Early every morning, the grandkids and I tiptoe out the door to comb the beach for seashells and watch the sunrise. By the time the rest of the family is stirring, we’ve already held competitions to see who could swim the length of the pool the fastest and who could hold their breath under the water the longest. Secrets have been whispered and promises have been made that I’ll never divulge to a single soul. You'll never hear me breathe the name of the girl my 11-year-old grandson has a secret crush on. I pinky swear, cross my heart, and am secretly flattered that my grandsons confide in me. Thoughts of exploring this big, beautiful world with my grandkids puts a smile on my face and joy in my heart. Memories are the best gifts I’ll ever give to my grandkids." -- Alli Smith
  • Ethan
    "We are long-distance grandparents. We are from California, but now we live in Costa Rica. When we left California eight year
    Debra Hogue
    "We are long-distance grandparents. We are from California, but now we live in Costa Rica. When we left California eight years ago, we had no grandchild. This made life easer, for sure. Things have changed, as things do, and now with our grandson Ethan, we have a nagging feeling of, do we stay or do we go. So far we have stayed in Costa Rica, with more visits to California. I think I want Ethan to know that we wanted an adventure. We wanted something different in our lives, and we went for it. I want him to be curious and excited about new and different things and places. I believe he will see us as different and fun. We love our life. It's like a fountain of youth. If we don't look in the mirror, that is." -- Debra Hogue
  • Jeremy, Allyson, Kyle, Julia, Dominic, Morgan, Jimmy, Ryan, Avery, Trey, Adriana, Christian, and the baby, Peyton Elizabeth
    "This quote on Facebook stirred a change in me. 'Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strengt
    Doreen McGettigan
    "This quote on Facebook stirred a change in me. 'Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.' Worrying about my kids and grandkids had been stealing my strength for years and I wanted it back. I wanted to not only live, but to feel alive, to feel joy and, more than anything, I wanted to inspire my grandchildren, my lucky 13 blessings. Wondering how to do that was causing me to revert to worrying. I was telling my husband one day how I felt and, with a few simple words, he freed me of my worry for good. He told me 'It’s all about creating memories big and small.' Sorrows are going to happen in our lives whether we worry or not. It’s our memories that we depend on to nudge us forward when we are feeling sad or stuck. Silly moments of joy, like saying yes to ice cream for breakfast, blowing bubbles in the living room, and turning the music up and hip hop dancing with them. When my husband suggested we drive to Florida from Philadelphia with five of our grandchildren, I wondered about his sanity. We all had the time of our lives. Middle age and being a grandparent is full of magic, fun and the anticipation of what memories we can create next. I have never been so happy." -- Doreen McGettigan
  • Daniella, Tessa, Maya, Ava, Tyler, David, Austin, and Caleb
    "When my first child was a baby, people asked me if he was adopted. He was a blonde, fair-skinned child with light eyes who h
    Laurie Levy
    "When my first child was a baby, people asked me if he was adopted. He was a blonde, fair-skinned child with light eyes who happened to have a dark-haired, olive-skinned, brown-eyed mom. Times were far less politically correct than they are now, so I patiently responded that he was my biological child who looked like his father. Looking back on it, how rude of them to ask. My grandkids are a beautiful rainbow of children who look like ... themselves. So here's my valentine to all eight of them, each as unique and awesome as a snowflake. Remember that little blonde boy who looked nothing like me? Well, he has two African-American sons who did join our family through adoption. So now come the PC-version of the questions folks asked me about him. Clearly, they are adopted, so we can skip that one. Are they from Africa? Nope. Are they brothers? Definitely. My first daughter married a Korean man and they have three daughters. So I get the 'Are they adopted?' question frequently. Nope, but why should that matter? They look like both parents and neither parent. I've had folks say one of them (generally the one I'm with) looks like me. Not really. Maybe it's a mannerism or facial expression? At any rate, the comment never ceases to delight me. My younger daughter, who does look like me, followed my example and married a blonde, fair-skinned man. Two of her kids are blonde and look much more like their father. One looks exactly like her (and consequently like me). When a baby is born, I'm as guilty as the next of saying the child looks like one of the parents. Or even worse, she has her mother's eyes and her father's mouth. How silly. I guess since most babies look somewhat similar, people are looking for that thing that connects the child to her parents. But here's the thing. My grandson who 'looks like me' also looks a lot like his African-American cousin in their newborn photos. Maybe I need to go on Finding Your Roots to discover that my origins are not 100 percent Lithuanian Jewish? But the easier solution is to agree that the thing that connects babies to their parents is love. So to my diverse collection of grandkids that I love so dearly, I give you this valentine from my heart. Who do you look like? Who cares? You look like my grandchildren and I am so lucky to be your Gramma." -- Laurie Levy
  • Ben
    "My parents lost a son. He had a life full of promise and charisma for miles. I never fully understood my parent’s absolute h
    Mary Miller
    "My parents lost a son. He had a life full of promise and charisma for miles. I never fully understood my parent’s absolute heartbreak until I had children of my own. Their grief is insurmountable. They have a host of memories of my brother shrouded in sadness and a lifetime to grieve their loss. While they continue to grieve they also continue to live a vibrant life. My parents are incredible grandparents because they made themselves available to love again and, more importantly, embrace joy. My children call my dad 'Papa.' He sings to them, plays with them and introduced them to doughnuts and 'coffee' in the morning. They call my mother 'Nana' and she represents comfort. She reads them books, takes them for walks and snuggles them when they just don’t feel good. While these mundane actions may not seem like a lot, they mean the world to my children. My children laugh and laugh as they talk about their latest adventures with Nana and Papa. The overwhelming grief and sadness they experienced and continue to experience has not defined them. They shower an overabundance of love upon their grandchildren and exude a deep sense of hope. My parents find happiness, despite their grief, and that makes them extraordinary people and the BEST grandparents." -- Mary Miller
  • Amitai
    "My daughter, my eldest child, just had her first child -- a baby boy. They live in Israel, and I flew over for his birth and
    Dawn Landau
    "My daughter, my eldest child, just had her first child -- a baby boy. They live in Israel, and I flew over for his birth and to help afterwards. What was meant to be a two-week trip became four and I became an integral part of a very important time in my first grandbaby's life, and in those first few weeks as my daughter became a mother. Having spent the past 25 years learning the depths of love from my three children, I was prepared to love the little person we were all waiting for. However, when I held him for the first time and saw my daughter's distinct features, blended with my eldest son's and my son-in-law's, on a tiny new face, my heart stopped and I was transported back to those precious early hours when I held my own newborns. I had the privilege and joy of spending the first 21 days with my grandson: rocking him, singing to him, memorizing his tiny features, and telling him I love him, as we all sought refuge from the intense Israeli summer heat. In those 21 days we became a new family, and I promised over and over -- in whispered endearments, that I will always be there for him. This is just our beginning." -- Dawn Landau
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Oh, Those Cute Grandkids
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