It’s not that time simply flies by. It’s more like a booster rocket carrying your life and daily events along with it. One moment, you’re holding your first born grandchild in your arms and the next she’s going to homecoming with friends. Where the heck did time go?
We affectionately call them the ‘Colorado kids’ because they were made for that state. They’re at one with the outdoors, the mountains high and the adventures it brings to their lives.
Sharon and I have been going out to Colorado every year for over fifteen years, minus last year with Covid. The routine is usually the same. Brian and Amy give themselves a week or long weekend away from home and Nana and Papa become the new semi-parents in town. The grandkids love it as much as we do.
As this stage of the game, I know the greater Denver area pretty well. So when Amy gives me her elongated list of the kid’s games, practices, scrimmages and lessons, I usually know where I’m going. It’s changed over the years with specific sports and locations but it still fills up usually six out of seven days and some evenings. That is not counting school activities and social events.
The kids love my chauffeuring skills since it usually includes spotting out of the way garage sales, Cold Stone Creamery, their favorite drive-thru, and parks to play in. Sharon loves garage sales because the kids know they have to negotiable for any item they want to purchase or Nana won’t be happy. Brian and Amy (especially Brian) just grits his teeth when the kids come traipsing home with their ‘treasures’ bought for a dime on the dollar.
Over the years, some things never change according to the mantra from Nana
Our last visit to Colorado in September was heavy with familiarity. It began with an early morning Lacrosse game, several soccer games, gymnastics and plenty of time for art lessons.
Spencer continues with his gymnastic lessons and is progressing like his father did years ago. Maya’s Lacrosse game started at 6:15am Saturday morning (warms up) on a wind-swept hilltop in shroud-covered South Denver. Veteran parents came equipped with thermos of some kind of liquid, hoodies, and blankets. Fortunately, at the last minute, I had switched out my shorts for jeans and a fleece.
By the time we took Samantha to her first soccer game later on that morning, it was bright and sunny and we were shedding our jeans, jackets, and blankets from earlier in the morning.
Sharon outdid herself this time with her art lessons every day.
But this year it was different. We were no longer the grandparents baby-sitting the grandchildren.
Sharon and I were struck by the resiliency and maturity of these three kids from years past. We no longer had to chide, coercive or bribe them to go upstairs to take a bath and get ready for bed. We no longer had to argue against more time playing outside or engaged in card games. When it was time for bed, it was time for bed.
The grandkids are growing up…much too fast. That includes the Minnesota pair too.
I think it hit both of us this fall in Colorado. Sharon and I still got to kiss the kids good-night. We still got to feel their warm soft pajamas, wet, just washed hair in our face and loving embrace that only a grandchild can give a grandparent. But it was different this time around. It’s wasn’t baby-sitting anymore. It was being there for them, with them, and alongside them. They could now take care of themselves and we were only the adults in the room to make sure daily routines got done.