When Grammie is in Charge

The Next Family

By: Madge Woods

My son and daughter-in-law went on a getaway to a wedding across the country. Since I live on their same block they asked if I could stay with my three adorable grandchildren –twin boys age 5 ½ and a three year-old girl. It is a no rules, 4-day extravaganza here in their home. There are only Grammie rules: extra treats, staying up as late as they can (which is not past around 9pm), staying in our jammies, and watching TV and videos or just playing Wii.

As any busy active family (with two working parents), these kids have activities.  One takes guitar, two play T-Ball, two take art lessons, and then there are swimming lessons, play dates and of course, birthday parties. When Grammie is in charge we still do some activities that are already minimally scheduled and which can’t be canceled, but mostly we “relax” as I like to call it. They love staying in their jammies, a fairly uncommon luxury in their busy household.

We live on a wonderful street filled with kids and a lot of just plain, old-fashioned neighborhood gatherings. BBQ’s in the front of houses and basketball, hockey, and baseball on various lawns –just like when my sons were young (on this same street) and also very similar to my play habits as a child on my old street. My activities were Brownies and ice-skating.  Play dates were non-existent because we had the block. Our big excitement was being old enough to walk to the park just two blocks over and play there all afternoon by ourselves. Times were less chaotic and seemingly safer than now. But were they really? Or were we just left to our own devices to figure out what was safe?

Times have changed and I am thankful that my grandkids have a mixture of both. But in the end the best days for Grammie are those lazy days of summer when I can write and they can watch Star Trek, baseball, or a princess DVD. There is a moment of peace and tranquility until we need breakfast, showers, dressing, and activities culminating in a birthday party in the afternoon. Then there are carpools to the party and pickups and then before you know it –bedtime. And then the glorious part again in the morning when we get to relax for half the day or longer.

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