Saturday, May 14, 2011

Grandkids Are So Much Fun I Should Have Had Them First

Our oldest grandson revelled in helping gramps anytime he could. When the new backyard sidewalk needed to be built, it was Donny to the rescue. Notice he even has his own toolbelt. He worked alongside Jim for hours and finally got the hang of measuring and laying the stone. When Jim announced that he'd like to take a rest, Donny just kept going. Young as he was, he came through with a perfect job. Today, Donny is 25, a mechanical engineer, and that sidewalk is still perfect. Honest.

My husband Jim and I thoroughly enjoyed raising our two children. I was a stay at home mom and for me, it was perfect. Then one day I blinked and they were grown, married, and had children of their own. Oh my gosh, I was a 40 year-old grandma who didn't feel grandmotherly. Little did I know that the fun was just beginning. You know what made the difference? I wasn't responsible for how they turned out. I didn't care if they ate their vegetables. No big deal if they got to bed a little late. What would it hurt if they ate dessert first? Would the stars fall from the sky if they went to bed without a bath?

Grandkids are relaxing, soothing, and just plain fun. Because all their parents worked full time, who taught the girls to knit, sew, and make biscuits? Me. Who taught our oldest grandson to build a birdhouse? Jim. When our oldest granddaughter was five, she and I went off to Zoo School at the San Diego Zoo. When our oldest grandson was eight, we took the Amtrack to Oceanside, just because he wanted to ride on a train. Another granddaughter's first plane trip was a short hop we took to a fancy Arizona waterpark and its adjoining hotel. Another granddaughter's first glimpse of the Grand Canyon came while she trailered the Southwest with us.

It seemed that while we raised our own kids, money was so tight that we were thankful just to have an old tent to camp in and in order to vacation at all, Jim sold his holidays at work so we'd have the funds. But once our kids were out on their own, we discovered something wonderful. We now had the money to take off and travel. And even better, the grandkids could come with us.

Even though they enjoyed seeing new places, each one still loved coming to our home and just hanging out.  When our backyard needed a new brick sidewalk, who wanted to help lay it? The oldest grandson. When he wanted to learn to play golf, who taught him? Jim. Years of intertwined love and togetherness have reaped their own rewards. We are rich in that our own children love and respect us; richer still because all seven grandkids do the same. And all it took was time. A little here, a little there. A nail to pound; a brick to lay; a stitch to sew; a biscuit to drool over.

The backyard as it is today. I do wish I'd moved the hose before snapping the shutter, but you can still see how well the sidewalk has held up over all these years.
Today, the grandkids ages range from 29 to 13. They are all still fun. Still relaxing. Still soothing to be around. And you know what? I still don't care if they clean their plates--although it would be nice if the minute they entered my home their cell phones somehow managed to bite the dust.

Copyright 2011 by Sandra L. Keith, All Rights Reserved
Photos are the property of the author and may not be reproduced without permission

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