It was another quick jaunt to Colorado while Brian and Amy slipped away to wine country. For Sharon and me, it was time to bond, travel and connect with the Colorado kids. Oh, and to spend an afternoon with a furry rodent of questionable character.
A new sheriff was in town and the grandkids couldn’t have been more thrilled. It was six days of non-stop activities that left Nana and Papa totally exhausted and the kiddos exhilarated. A small price to pay for building grandparent memories with lots of experiences, events and silliness thrown in for good measure.
The storm of activities was slow in coming. Our first day in town was quiet since the grand-children were in school. After that, it was our typical harried, multi-tasked, quasi-organized rush of excitement for all of us.
The last time we were in town, the kid’s first event of the day was a huge swim meet that witnessed a gathering of all the aquatic tribes. This time around, we began with a grand tour of the greater Denver Metropolitan area. Yep, the kids are all in traveling sports teams.
Maya, our eldest grandchild, switched from soccer to Lacrosse last year. She’s quickly grasped the fundamentals of the game and acquired the skills to make her a valued member of her team. So mimicking the ‘Oregon trail,’ first thing Saturday morning we set off for the community of Littleton for Maya’s Lacrosse game. Even that early in the morning, the sidelines were filled with semi-awake, coffee-clutching parents yelling encouragement at their kids.
As quickly as we arrived the game was soon over, and we had to scramble to find our next venue. Spencer’s soccer game was in yet another distant suburb; this time it was in Centennial.
Finally it was cris-crossing back across the metro to Aurora, Colorado for Samantha’s soccer game. During it all the kids were troopers. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Nana’s rule of ‘no screen time’ was relaxed a bit so she and I could concentrate on Saturday morning traffic and the distance of our travels.
At every game while we huddled in our camp chairs buried under thermos blankets, the kids who weren’t playing were clustered around books and devices. Visiting urchins came and went and no one seemed to notice the chill in the air. The adults watched each game with intensity usually reserved for major league sporting events.
Ever the ‘reading hounds,’ we had to, once again, visit the newest library in town then begin the first of several art lessons.
Nana had the kids back working on their favorite art project; alcohol ink. Just as Brennen and Charlotte had quickly grasped that creative process back home so too had the Colorado kids. Collectively, all five grandchildren have now spread their creative wings and come up with some fascinating works of art. Pastel drawings were next on the list of paintings to explore.
After a morning of focused painting, Nana offered up options for lunch and entertainment. Much to my chagrin, there was a unanimous request to go to Chuck E. Cheese. It had been many years since we took the Colorado kids there. Little had changed since our last visit.
It was just as noisy, chaotic and messy. The demographics had shifted but kids are kids. Our grandchildren had a wonderful time and that was all that mattered.
The rest of our soiree in Colorado was a non-stop mixture of garage sales, piano lessons, more art classes, reading, relaxing, and fooling around. There were games every night, a special assistant breakfast cook to Nana each morning and ‘coffee with Papa;’ one kid per morning.
The days and nights were non-stop as were the grandchildren. There’s a reason why only young people should have kids. It was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. Our goal has always been to give the kiddos lots of experiences, time with their grandparents and a little advice thrown in when each grandchild gets to go on our traditional ‘Starbucks with Papa.’
We know that realistically there is only a limited time available before our grandchildren ‘grow up’ and move on with their lives. It’s a limited time capsule Sharon and I have tried to embrace and embellish and hold dear to our hearts and theirs as well.
Where else can a couple of old folks teach and learn so much at the same time. We are truly blessed.