For some reason I volunteered for my husband and I to take care of our two adorable grandsons, ages six and nine for a week up at our mountain home. With only two weeks to go before school starts again, we thought it would be fun for them to have a relaxing week without too many demands.
I’m not sure why I decided to do this. When we took the kids to the rodeo, we were the only grandparents solely accompanying children who were without their parents. I think I’ve always been a martyr. It’s just part of my DNA.
It’s not that it hasn’t been wonderful. It has been. First, it gave our son and daughter-in-law a needed rest from their twenty-four hour job of taking care of their offspring and simultaneously working for a living. Second, it gave my husband a chance to show his grandkids his business interests, i.e. what it’s like to be a capitalist, something that they had no idea their “Papi” did. And third, we got to be with them and enjoy on a day to day basis what makes them tick. We got camp stories, friend stories, Mom and Dad thoughts and especially theirs. We struggled with helping our youngest who’s having a bit of trouble learning how to ride a bike and watched in amazement the proprietary ability of our oldest grandson to watch over his brother. We played corn hole, made a home movie and went miniature golfing. And, the two of us, now well into our seventies, drank a lot of wine and slept better than average each night.
Their parents come up today and will probably be a bit frustrated that they watched too much television, played on iPads constantly, ate only ice cream and pizza and went to bed at ten o’clock each night.
On our final solo night together we watched “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” about a family where the second oldest son (I forget his name—I think it’s Greg) rebels against the restrictions of his mother who only wants him to read books, learn and behave. I absolute relate to this but for some reason always give in to the trends of the day. I can’t get them to like classical music, read the volumes of “Wizard of Oz” and say the Dinosaur Museum was their favorite activity. Their parents actually do better at exposing them to their own tastes: “Hamilton,” jazz, and “Choose Your Own Adventure.”
I’m a big believer that as a grandparent I am just there to love my grandchildren and to hope that once in a while they might like my old songs like “Kiss is Sweeter Than Wine,” and my old favorite stories like “Thumbelina.” Mostly it’s about “Angry Birds” and “Star Wars.” And that’s OK by me.