Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Grandpa On Board

This weekend, my father came into town for the first time since before Thanksgiving. We went away during the Christmas break, and he spent a couple of weeks in New Zealand, so it was tricky to find a weekend that would actually work. This weekend is pretty much going to be it until the spring, as our respective schedules rapidly fill up.

Okay, let’s be honest. His schedule is starting to fill up. Mine is, for the most part, free and open. One of the side "benefits" of my life, at this point, is an entire lack of interesting appointments. I'm not upset about this in the remotest; I think I'm past my need to have every instant of every day filled by activities and quartets and lessons and practicing and whatnot. A little bit of boredom, while I work my way up the corporate ladder and while my children grow out of infancy and into school days, is a good thing.

Our visit was quite ordinary. He arrived Saturday afternoon, and we went out to dinner together. We then came home and played around the house, and he read stories and sang songs for the boys during bedtime. It is, after all, a special treat to have Grandpa NJ come to visit. After that, I went with both Grandpas to Dunkin Donuts, where we enjoyed a cup of coffee, a nice conversation, and some treats. The next morning, we went out to breakfast, although Grandpa joined us later because he got lost heading to the restaurant. He watched the two older boys while the other grandpa watched the baby while I taught a lesson, then we played outside for a little while. When The Wife got home, we enjoyed a nice lunch together, then rested for a while. We went bowling as a family, which was a lot of fun.

The neat thing about this bowling alley is that each person can be customizable in terms of bumpers or no bumpers, so The Wife and I went bumperless while Grandpa and The Boys (sounds like a band) had bumpers. Grandpa won the first game with a 102 (compared with The Boy's 100), and he had the highest average score. The Wife whipped me good in the first game, and I won the second game with the highest score on the day, 118. The kids had a fun time, particularly since the bumpers made it less frustrating. They even have this neat ramp that they can roll the ball down, so it actually reaches the pins without stopped. Although, The Boy did stop using the ramp about halfway through the first game and was able to knock pins down with his ball!

After the bowling, we went to Bob Evans for dinner, which was a calculated risk considering that we didn't pull into the restaurant parking lot until about 7:15. That carried the very real probability of one or more children turning into screaming pumpkins, which did - in fact - happen with the two bigger boys. The Baby was quite content during dinner, smiling at Mom, smiling at me, smiling at his brother, smiling at the bananas... We loaded the kids in the car for the trip home, threw them in the bath, and again had Grandpa assist with the bedtime duties. Afterwards, he, The Wife, and I sat around and chatted for an hour or so.

This morning, he and I went to breakfast and had a nice chat. We probably won't see him again until May, which is a shame, but it's his busy schedule that's keeping him away from us, so I don't feel too guilty about it.

The best part of the weekend? The greeting that my kids gave to my dad. When he came in the house for the first time, they ran up to him and gave him huge hugs and kisses, and there was no need for any kind of an adjustment period. Thank you, FaceTime, for providing us with the means to keep my father involved in their lives from 360 miles away! It was also nice that Little Bear requested songs from him, and that The Boy wanted him to read stories. When we went to bed last night, The Boy told me that the favorite part of the evening was getting to roll the bowling balls and knock the pins over.

It was a nice, boring, uneventful weekend. I kind of like typing that, over and over and over again. Boring is good. It's not cancer.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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