This is the fourth and last in this series of Grandma in Charge. For anyone following, I have been taking care of two grandchildren for the past several days while their mom and dad have taken a much needed vacation. They return home today, so I return home then too. I will be returning with a full heart and a brain bursting with memories. This post captures of the final days.
Do You Remember Where We Left Off?
I had so proudly described how I’d turned duty of Activity Director over to the 7 year old. I’d figured that I’d done quite enough training by this time. It was time for him to take the reigns.
And take the reigns he did!
“Let’s play soccer!”
Well, I deserved this. I’d told him to choose. So outside we went. Me in my slip ons and he in his agile body! Still the exercise would be good for me. And so we played soccer of 20 minutes. We played hard! Well, I thought we played hard! And his 5 year old sister came in after, holding her hand on her chest saying “My heart is still beating so fast!” She was the goalie! In the end, he was gracious, gave us double points every time we managed to get the ball in the net and then he allowed us to call the game when we were tied. It was time for Wheel of Fortune, you know!
Coming To The End of The “To Do List”
Remember back at the beginning, that file bursting with notes of everything including a list of scheduled “To Do’s”? Well, as things always go, I had come to the end of the list. I was crossing off the one last appointment that I couldn’t miss, the 5 year olds kindergarten assessment. By now, I almost can drive to the right place without my GPS but I keep it talking to me as a comfort, I think.
No matter, I got her there on time and in line. She says she did fine. I’m sure she did. As the adult who brought her, I was tasked with answering those questions that are supposed to reveal all those talents this child certainly has that you want to make sure the teacher knows before fall. As the proud grandma, I made sure I filled that survey up good! After all, this little girl is a power house. She’s ready to take on the world…well, as long as it doesn’t involve too much soccer. That makes her heart beat too fast.
After reaching this momentous occasion (completing our To Do List), I thought it only right that we celebrate so I took them to play Mini Golf (exercise my speed) and then capped the morning off with a Happy Meal! I mean nothing says Grandma’s In Charge more than that.
And then we went home. It was at this point that the realization of the past days hit me and I felt every bit of my age. I was ready for a nap. They were ready for their IPADs. Now, of course I didn’t sleep. After all, I am the Grandma In Charge. But I did let them linger longer with screen time. I just had nothing left in me to fight it.
One Last Burst
After probably way too much time letting them zone out so I could too, I said “Time to shut them down.” To which the 7 year old said, “Now what should we do?” And confident me said, “You decide.”
He decided that we needed to play a game of tag (here we go again!) He made up a list (excessively long) of rules for this game and he assured me that they were allowed to run in the house and they wouldn’t hurt themselves. No worry about me.
So off we went running room to room trying to get caught (or not get caught, I never quite knew) and then I got a text…and I had to stop and read that immediately, of course! It was from a friend of my daughter’s wondering if she could bring her son over to play with the kids. He was bored!
I couldn’t type fast enough, “OMG, YES! Come fast before I break a bone or something!”
And she came and the night ended with delight, no broken bones, sleepy kids, and a thankful Grandma!
Probably There’s A Better Title For This
You know, I write mostly from a stream of consciousness. I like to just go with what comes to mind and as I opened my computer this morning, and started this blog, “When The Bough Breaks” jumped to mind. Now I wonder why. Here’s what I think:
- I have four grandchildren. They are all so close in age and I’m old enough to know that the years will fly by and they will have many interests. Grandma will take her place near the bottom of the list as it should be. These opportunities to play a part in their lives are precious. I mean, it was just yesterday that they were in those cradles.
- Visits don’t happen as often as I’d like. Covid made them even fewer, so I have to hold on to the moments I get. Be present. Give them all of me.
- But this time, I have felt that “all of me” wasn’t just about playing nonstop or letting them have everything they wanted. It was more about just being here, listening, talking, and sharing our thoughts. We talked alot! We shared our thoughts about so many things and I didn’t even get offended when one of those thoughts was this:
I’m sharing a moment with the 5 year old, telling her how her brother thought that when I come for long visits we should actually go to Target two times instead of just once (our traditional Grandma toy trip). The five year old agreed! But then I said, “Well, I wouldn’t want you to just want me to come because I buy you toys.” And her response “Pretty much that’s about it.”
Now, I told you I didn’t get offended and this is why. She then went upstairs to get dressed and came down in a tie-dye shirt. One that we had made together on a previous visit. She said, “I know this is your last day and this is our favorite shirt, right?”
This flower sits out their back door with a fragrance that will knock you over.
This trip, like many things now as I have gotten older, came with it’s share of stress and anxiety. Those two emotions that can stop people in their tracks, keep some from saying “Yes” to opportunities. I could have said “No” to this past week. I could have used any excuse that would have been completely understandable. But I didn’t. I packed up my nerves and headed off to an adventure. When I arrived, one of these flowers was in a glass cup on the table. Nothing special was made of it. It was just there. It’s now that I step outside, take a picture of one of it’s relatives and look up the message. And the message is – RELAX!
And, I did. And I found my way from day to day without getting lost, losing anything or breaking a bone. Amazing!
We did it, Grandma! We made another memory together. And this Grandma leaves with a grateful heart. There are so many moments in their lives that I see only from a photo. This week, I was the one taking the pictures. I got to take one of their last day of school, the 5 year old’s graduation from Pre-school, of our adventures with so much pizza, their fun swimming in their pool, and even one or two of them peacefully sleeping in their beds. This was a blessed week and I am one happy grandma.
Thank you, Mom and Dad for trusting me with your babies.