Grandparents share love, adventure with youth

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 8, 2005

The image of a dowdy-looking granny in sensible shoes and support hose, sedately sitting in her rocking chair and clicking away with the knitting needles, is pretty pass\u00E9 these days.

Not that there's a thing wrong with needlecrafts.

21st century grandmothers, however, also travel to fun destinations, ride motorcycles and horses and hit the stores for shopping sprees with their grandchildren.

Eight-year-old Logan Bryan and his big sister Lauren, 15, are lucky enough to have two active grandmothers right here in the Greenville area.

Pratha Harrison and Brenda Bryan happily share the two grandchildren.

"Pratha and I get along great, which doesn't always happen. I'm so glad," Bryan, known as "BB" to her grandchildren and many friends, says.

Bryan is also grandmother to Omied Kazeroonian, 21, a student at Snead State along with Chris Welch, 17, Joey Welch, 15 and Shae Heartsill, 13, all students in Greenville public schools.

For Bryan, when it comes to family, the more, the merrier.

"We do special things as a family. The grandkids' favorite thing is a week at Disney World. The whole crowd, even their mommas and daddies, is going to Orange Beach for the fall break," Bryan explains.

Harrison recalls how she felt becoming a grandmother for the first time.

"I was so excited and proudŠand grandchildren are grand. I love mine," Harrison says with a twinkle in her blue eyes.

"I finally understood why grandparents were so silly after we had one of our own," Bryan laughs.

She says she tries to be available for her grandchildren whenever help is needed.

"We play games and always enjoy our time together," Bryan says.

Harrison enjoys the opportunity to keep Logan and Lauren from time to time and she always has plenty for the youngsters to do.

"We swim, ride horses, play games, cook, even decorate cakes together. I like to take them shopping, too. We have lots of fun," she says.

How could you not have fun with a "motorcycle grandma" who has her own "hawg" for zooming around town and country ?

"Lauren was not as keen on the short motorcycle trip she went on, but Logan really enjoyed it. On the other hand, Logan likes riding horses well enough, but Lauren is a real horse woman," Harrison says.

Lauren's spirited horse, Cheyenne, was a gift from her grandfather, Wayne Harrison, while the gentle Waco is shared by Logan and his grandmother.

Harrison also shares her skill with a bow and arrow with Logan and Lauren. Their grandma happens to be a trophy-winning archer with a couple of state championship titles under her belt.

"My husband had a custom bow made for Lauren when she was little and now Logan is using it," she says.

Harrison says she enjoys playing computer games with her grandson, while Lauren is her best buddy when the shopping urge strikes.

She also does the "traditional" grandma things with her two grandchildren.

"I bake cakes and cookies with Logan's help and Lauren helps me decorate cakes," Harrison says.

Both Harrison and Bryan say they want their grandchildren to know how much they are loved and treasured by their grandparents. And their faith is an important part of being a good grandparent, they say.

"The thing I wish most and pray for mine is that they would lead a Christian life, serving and loving the Lord. I hope they will stay close as a family, knit together by love," Bryan says.

"The grandchildren know I put my trust in the Lord and I share his love with them. I hope their life will be as blessed as mine has been," Harrison says.

And just when Bryan and husband Dale thought all their grandbabies had arrived, news came that Kim and Hoss Kazeroonian will be adopting a child this December.

And that's just fine. This grandma has love and energy to spare.

The more, the merrier.

"The older kids announced to me last week they think it's about time to go to Disney World again," Bryan laughs.