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BEACON Senior News

Grandparents Day times 17

Aug 21, 2023 12:46PM ● By Rhonda Wray

I was recovering from a recent bout of COVID when the call came. Would I like to have my 5-year-old granddaughter for 10 days before the rest of her family arrived? I counted the days of quarantine, saw I’d be in the safe zone, and immediately agreed.

Tragedy swiftly and unexpectedly bonded us together when she was 3 and her mother died. My son was deeply committed to raising her on his own, but he needed help with childcare when he worked. She spent many days and nights with me for a year, until the high cost of housing here prompted them to move 20 hours away.  It was an adjustment, eased somewhat by FaceTime and plane tickets.

The last time she was here was at Christmas—so the first “toy” she asked to play with was the Nativity set. It was nonstop activity from there. I lived the Barbie movie in real time, with elaborate house setups for the tippy-toed blonde and her entourage of plastic pets. Two twin mattresses placed end-to-end atop the stairs made a speedy slide that delighted her—and reminded me of my own kids’ squishy slide shenanigans. 

She was eating a clementine when she suddenly gasped. “I thought I lost my first tooth!” she said, of the small white stray seed. 

She was vigilant and vocal about the speed limit as I chauffeured her around. Wandering in the creek, playing life-size Candyland, trampoline jumping at Sky Zone and feeding giraffes at the zoo got crossed off the list, but there were more activities than time to do them. 

Like most kids, she adores swimming. Typically the adults in her life have a schedule that dictates when we leave. What would it look like, I wondered, if I let her decide when it was time to go home? Well—it looked like five hours in the pool! Another exhausted grandmother looked at me wearily and deadpanned, “Where’s the innertube with the cup holder for the cocktails?”

We balanced out the fun with academic practice. She labored over a page of words with their Spanish translation. For yes, she simply wrote, “C.” She made her dad a card that said, “I loved you since I was in my mom’s belly.”

It rained nearly daily during her visit. Ever practical, she told her uncle, as he got ready for work, “If you just go out in the rain, you won’t have to take a shower!”

Why do we cherish these little people so much? We know how utterly quickly the years speed by—the fast-forward of life. “The days are long, but the years are short”? So true,  when you’re in the thick of parenting. This grandparent gig is our second chance to savor moments we might have been too harried and hurried to as parents.

Their last night here was wildly unpredictable, with a chilly dip in Prospect Lake followed by the second Mother of All Hailstorms. I dropped them off at DIA in the morning, dispensing a round of hugs. 

Grandparenting—it’s an exhausting, hilarious, heart-expanding privilege. My granddaughter was here 17 days start to finish, and I feel like I could sleep for a couple weeks. Maybe I can, now that the house is hushed. There are no sparkly Crocs or teeny tennies lined up by the door. I have 16 library books to return. I’m left with treats I don’t typically buy: Gogurt, dinosaur oatmeal, chocolate chip granola bars—and even sweeter memories, like this:

“Grammar, I love you.”

Grandparents Day is September 10

Grandparents Day is September 10

4-year-olds should run for president. They’re truthful, energetic and can solve all the world’s problems with their ninja swords, fire trucks and Spider-Man cape Read More » 


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