- Ridiculously HOT
- Did I already say - Exhausting?
But that's not completely true. The event could also be described as:
- Memory Making
So which list is actually the truth, you may ask? Well, I must honestly say - BOTH.
Last weekend, Frank and I were in charge of the four Schreck grands for about 24 hours. Spencer-8; Abby-6; Zach-4; Ava-2. Yes! We lived to tell about it. Some of you host your grandchildren for full weeks at a time. You hold amazing "Grandparent Camps." I've seen your pictures on facebook and I applaud you.
Frank and I approached our 24 hour assignment with the same intensity of focus used by navy seals for a covert operation. We carefully laid out our plan of containment. We discussed multiple entertainment options. We evaluated our own strength and compared it to the fortitude of the four we were overseeing. By Friday, we were ready!
Bedtime was a no brainer. On my second visit to bedrooms filled with wiggly giggly children I put on my best teacher voice and said, "Noni does not want to be stern but rest is important for your body. You must go to sleep if we're going to enjoy tomorrow together. So now, I'm getting stern! Go to sleep right away, please. No more talking!"
Can you tell I had practiced? How did it sound to you?
For those of you who think I was over the top, please consider the following. I love snuggling with my grandbabies. I'm all about ice cream and later bedtimes than usual. But Frank and I only have two laps between us. The Schreck children are four energetic, highly motivated children who each have a plan of action at all times and who will each grow up to run something sizable someday. My speech was somewhat motivated by fear that we could be overrun at any moment.
I'm teasing, of course. But we DID want to create a fun memory with these babies who rapidly grow every time we turn away then look back at them. Spencer was the two-year old mastermind just yesterday. Now, he's excited to be almost as tall as my shoulder. Time Flies, friends!
We opted for a local entertainment option, Bok Tower Gardens. It was the perfect choice. They've recently opened a children's exploration area which is Amazing! (We'll be taking the Smith children next week sometime.) Frank and I were both pleasantly surprised by the fore-sight and planning that had gone into this creative exhibit designed just for children.
The oppressive FL heat was still a factor so we moved slowly from one section to the next. But the magnificent canopy of trees offered shade. And each exhibit offered such interesting, hands-on activities that the participants forgot the heat momentarily.
The walk to the center of the gardens was a bit taxing. We had to keep promising the view would be worth it. And just as hope was waning, we broke into a clearing and could see the massive tower constructed of pinkish marble. Breath-taking, even for a four year old. "Yook, Noni! You see?!" Zach was awestruck.
The highlight wasn't the tower, of course. It was the fifty-cents we spent on fish food for the swarming koi in the moat surrounding the tower. The well-fed fish looked monstrous to two-year old Ava. And Spencer kept warning everyone, "Don't stand so close! You could fall in!" Abby wanted to bring home a couple of them.
Papa dutifully pushed the stroller we had packed down with items for our picnic lunch. Then he gladly carried children too tired to walk any longer. We seized on short teaching moments through out the day. And yes of course, we ended our time with ice cream and even shared a peach milkshake. Fruit and dairy are such important elements for every diet, don't you agree?
John and Joy had made arrangements for us to trade out with a sitter for baths and bedtime the second night so Frank and I could be ready for Sunday morning. When he and I pulled into our driveway after handing them off, we just sat quietly for several minutes. Then we smiled at one another with satisfaction. We had made it.
We had already invited nine guests for Sunday lunch and I still had a lot of prep work to do. But I did Nothing! I sat on the couch until bedtime then put on PJ's and fell onto my own pillow with a sigh of contentment.
Frank's hometown paper used to end the local news section with this, "A Lovely Time was had by ALL!" I believe that's true of our stinky, splendid, HOT, joy-filled adventure.
How about you? Have you spent time with your grandchildren or perhaps have special memories of time with your own grandparents? Please share with us in the comment section.