A rare 3 days

By Joanne Peterson | Jul 18, 2013

I settled in with my four-year-old grandson Adam and two-year-old granddaughter Abby for a long weekend while their mother and father rode in the Seattle to Portland (“STP”) bike event.

In the company of ten thousand other bicycle riders, Eric and Lisa pedaled 100 miles the first day, from Seattle to Centralia, where they slept in a Centralia Community College classroom, and another 100 miles the second day, to Portland.

Mission accomplished, exhausted, elated, they stayed that night in a hotel. (Eric--and Adam-- earlier drove a car to leave in Portland, sharing a father-son train ride home to Seattle.)

The third morning, our two cyclists celebrated their completion of the event by sleeping exceptionally late, enjoying a leisurely breakfast in Portland and shopping for gifts for their children.

When I called my daughter, she was in the midst of getting a pedicure, the only reward she claimed for completing a ride she had declared herself “insane” for attempting.

Back in Seattle, their two children awakened Saturday morning to find their Grandma there for them, their parents having set off down the alley on their bikes in early morning sunlight--after I finished pinning Lisa’s number (#2511) on her back.

The three of us left behind—the support team—were together, after weeks of anticipation. “Grandma! Grandma! You’re HERE!”

We three sat at the round oak table that first morning eating waffles and sausages. I drank my coffee and gazed at their sweet (syrupy) faces and marveled that these children were mine for three days.

Rested and rosy, energetic and engaging, my grandchildren were my delight and my responsibility. Yes, I felt just a few twinges of trepidation, a vague sense that I—as my father used to suggest to me—had bitten off more than I could chew.

Usually, my dad’s observations included a reference to burning the candle at both ends. (True, I scarcely slept the night before; I would regret that by sundown.)

Anyway, there I was, trying to tame my inner voices of insecurity by reminding the voices that I’ve raised a son and a daughter already.  Hey, I’m as mature and competent as ever I will be, I’d guess. What’s the Big Deal about spending three days taking care of a small grandson and wee granddaughter in their own home?

Well, it was a Big Deal. It was a grandmother’s dream--days and nights with the grandchildren while their parents enjoyed a rare get-away from responsibility.  At home in West Seattle, the three days were a mash-up of exuberance, squabbles, hugs, art projects, stories, puzzles, Legos, water play, monster games, giggles, snacks, and Helping Grandma Cook.

Yes, Abby’s precious bunny-blanket went missing for a while.  And her toe got caught in her high chair. Adam’s sister broke his plastic helicopter.  It took Grandma 20 minutes to open the child-safe art supply cupboard.

She forgot vitamins one day--but freely handed out ice cream, praise and kisses. What a precious weekend.

 

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