One of the many undiscovered joys of life for me was to become a grandparent. Growing up, I had no idea what a grandparent was supposed to do or be. The kind of influence a grandparent can have on a grandchild is phenomenal. I’m not talking about material things which don’t mean Jack in the greater scheme of life. I’m talking about the little things, the little day-to-day incidents that can mold and shape the kind of person a child becomes. I can only hope that Sharon and I have been that kind of influence on our five kiddos.
|Sharon and I with the five grandchildren|
Aside from a couple of visits early on in my life, there were no grandparents from either family ever present as I was growing up. Fast forward many years and Sharon and I have been blessed with five wonderful grandchildren. Unfortunately three of them live in Denver and, aside from their Palm Springs visits and our (pre-pandemic) trips to Colorado); we only get to see them once or twice a year.
Fortunately each year, both Brian’s and Melanie’s families are able to join us in Palm Springs for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. Each visit is a wonderful memory-collector for the entire LaComb/McMahon family tree.
Since they were infants, Brennan and Charlotte have stayed with us in Apple Valley for visits, playdates and sleepovers. They stayed with us for two weeks a couple of years ago when Melanie and Scott did an anniversary trip, traveling through Europe.
Unfortunately this summer, with the pandemic in full bloom, it was different story. We only had the kids for a week sans sleepovers. That was too bad because Sharon and I have created quite a tradition with their Chocolate Chip pancakes for breakfast, a fast game of either bumper cars or radio-controlled cars.
Usually we would end each evening at bedtime with a new story of their favorite made-up character called ‘Copper the Hopper.’ This long held tradition of ‘Copper the Hopper’ bedtime stories usually included a heavy dose of tickling, finger-snaps on the head (simulating getting hit by golf balls) rolling off the bed and more tickling. By stories end, the bed covers were in shambles, both kids over-activated and ‘time out’ needed to calm down before we kissed their foreheads and put them to bed.
Sharon and I know that we can never pinpoint just what experiences are being stored in our grandchildren’s collective memory banks. Scooters in the desert. Dress up at the St. Paul Grill. Nana’s pool. Cupcakes?
Closer to home, it could be B & C’s favorite climbing tree, garage sales, ‘Copper the Hopper’ bedtime stories, Culvers restaurant, dress up dinners with Nana and Papa, beadwork on the porch or cooking classes.
With their abbreviated one-week stay this summer, we managed to get in the Minnesota Zoo, a lot of porch fun, working in the mulch garden and of course, their favorite climbing tree.
Sharon and I agree that one of the first things we’re going to do once the pandemic is over is fly to Denver to spoil, entice, and spoil some more the Denver trio of Maya, Samantha, and Spencer. Closer to home, we’re going to stage another weekend blast at Nana and Papa’s house for B & C.
If they’re not too old, we’ll invite ‘Copper the Hopper’ along for the romp, ride, and joyful reunion.