I awakened early this morning with the thought that it will be really quiet before the end of the day. We’ve had the privilege of having Jenna, William and Jake in our home since last Saturday. In addition, Lilian joined the group on Monday. I guess I should also add that Jenna brought Daisy, the abandoned dog they opted to rescue when they were at our home over Christmas. The presence of all five has added a very full agenda to the General’s typical relaxed week.
When I got home from work on Monday, the General looked a little harried. I had seen the look before. I saw it on the first day of spring break last year. I smiled with the thought that she’ll have this totally under control by tomorrow. I didn’t ask: “How was your day?” I think I already knew the answer, but she would have told me it had been great. Truthfully, we like having our grandchildren with us.
Instead, I asked: “What fun things did you do today?” They had gone into Austin to see a movie. Trust me, negotiating Austin traffic during the week of SXSW would have been enough to orchestrate the harried look.
The General is an exceptional grandmother. To say that she is kid friendly only begins to describe the skillset and patience she demonstrates. Actually, I am a little envious. The grandchildren get by with a lot more than I do and they always get preferential treatment. For example, she asked each grandchild to identify their favorite food. She pledged to provide it in the course of the week.
In addition, she asked for a listing of things they’d like to do or places they wanted to go through the week. I was a little startled when I saw the list. I wasn’t surprised when the jump house was on the list. They did that last year. Actually, they did that twice in one day last year. At an admission price of $20 per kid for a two-hour segment, I thought once was more than enough.
I noticed the Science Mill in Johnson City was not on the list. I recommended it last year, but no one seemed interested. The General had suggested it for this year, but once again it didn’t sound interesting. Consequently, it didn’t make the list. I suggested she put in on the list anyway. Reportedly, it is both educational and fun. It, too, is a little pricy, but not any more so than the jump house.
Laser tag was also on the list with the notation “$9 for 15 minutes”. Are you kidding me? “Absolutely not” was my first and final thought. I’m sure I expressed my opinion, but when it comes to spring break activities unless I’m taking off work and participating, I’m not in the driver’s seat. Actually, being in the driver’s seat doesn’t mean it always gets done my way.
As the week unfolded, reportedly their best days were when they stayed home and opted to orchestrate their own activities. One day during the week, Jake wanted to play Monopoly. The suggestion wasn’t taken seriously by the other three. The General and Jake played Monopoly by themselves for a while. Finally, at the General’s coaxing, the other three agreed to play for 15 minutes. A little over 4 hours later, the game finally ended. From that point forward, Monopoly was an easy choice for the group to make.
Last night, while the General and the older three grandchildren were playing Monopoly, Jake said to me, “I’ve got ants in my pants and I just want to dance.” He was playfully jumping up and down at the time. I asked, “Where did you learn those moves?” He point to his brother and said, “From my master, William.” The kid is hilarious. He will say anything for a laugh.
Last night as the day was winding down, I said to Jake, “It’s been fun having all of you here for the week. I hope you will always want to spend time with your grandparents. He assured me, they would. He even said he’d be sad to leave tomorrow. What a precious kid.
I went on to tell Jake about how much I enjoyed shared time with my grandparents. He said, “Tell me about them. What were they like? The simply question was the catalyst for recovering so many memories from the past.
I don’t take for granted that our grandkids like to spend time with us. Yet, I really have no fear that will ever change. I anticipate the lure of spring break with grandparents will one day be replaced with obligations and responsibilities that will require their time, but the connection currently in place is a loving and strong one. I don’t anticipate it will ever be broken.
Did I mention, I’m already dreading the house being empty? I like having grandchildren around.
All My Best!