March 20 • 07:39 AM

Grandkids' visit was memorable

November 26, 2008
Having reported to you last week that three of the grandchildren were coming and that I wasn't sure what we could do to build memories means that I should report back to tell you we had a delightful weekend.

Putting the problem on the table almost right away, I asked, "Is there anyone you would like me to invite over? Anyone you remem-ber from when you lived here and would like to see again?"

The quick: "No! We came to see you!" made me think perhaps they'd been coached; but of course I was thrilled anyway.

"I know," I countered, "but I don't have very many toys around anymore, you know."

"But you have lots of Legos."

"You're right! We do! We'll just empty them out in the living room and leave them out 'til you go home." (which is what we usually do when grandkids come. We keep a sheet in the big Rubbermaid tote and just lift it in and out with the collection which spans nearly 40 years, including ones we bought from friends or were given to us by friends, plus the ones we bought from someone who was selling his off to raise college money—

for which I now realize we paid far too little).

"Here's the hand sanitizer station. Use a squirt before you start—another when you quit each time. Partly because it's flu season. Partly because there's almost 40 years worth of germs on them."

Hours worth of creativity happened in that room. And I could hear every word from the other room. I chuckled to hear them playing Legos like a game of Monopoly. Prized pieces were treated like pieces of real estate up for bid. Once when the oldest one was bargaining with the youngest, I heard the middle child say, "Don't do it, Aly! It's not enough!"

But they didn't fight! Just bargained—Three trees for a horse, two oars for a person, etc.

Then we played a game. When Grandma's game cupboard failed to produce regular Uno cards, we had to choose between my grandma's game—Chinese Checkers, and a Bingo game—a yard sale purchase which still sported a $.25 sticker. Bingo won out with a promise to sort through the Uno Attack cards by the next day, or play the Chinese Checkers. (We never did get to that, because between Legos and Beverly Hills Chihauhua we never found time.) Because it rained the whole time, we had to fore-go yard work, which was how we thought we'd let them earn money, but we Christmas shopped anyway—$5 each with which to shop at the $ store for Dad, Mom, and the Compassion International shoebox. By the time the presents were wrapped, it was way past bedtime—by Mom's rules. Next day at church they re-connected with one old friend—like they'd never missed a beat—and if time had permitted before their parents returned, we would have invited him over. Instead, they parted with grand memories.

And now we get to see them again this week, without having to first get re-acquainted. Of course, this time will be in a crowd—along with their other nine cousins and a dozen or so adults—dynamics which make one-on-one interaction difficult—a whole different kind of experience.

Castle Creek
03 - 20 - 18
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