We retrieved the grandkids from the other set of gp's on Saturday. Four hours to meeting place and another four hours to family in upstate NY. I believe that I can call them my grandchildren now, as one of them wrote we are visiting "our grandparents" in an Instagram photo of us.
|Little Liza Jane cozied up in the rented minivan|
Excitement number one... At first I wanted to get a limo for our Big City Adventure later in the week but found out that it was cheaper to buy them each a mini iPad (16g no 4G) to make the ride home across the great state of Pennsylvania a little easier.
|Spot the iPad?|
They were so happy to discover that I am a secret hoarder of game apps and had 80+ games for the ride home. They can sync with their home computer when they return home.
Let's talk about the ride home, shall we? In spite of the best of intentions, it turned into another one of our famous -let's see what the most ridiculous travel option is and then do it-trips.
Mr. Sophanne was orphaned at an early age. He scratched his way through life without "taking anything from anybuddy" (insert Brooklyn twang). I made arrangements for us to stay with the step daughter of his deceased brother. So she's a niece but not officially but has been his niece since she was 5 years old. We got there after 8 hours of driving, had a cookout, visited with cousins, woke up the next day and drove home that afternoon around 4:00, spending 18 of 48 hours in the car and leaving them with 14 marinated chicken breasts to freeze for another day. Why did we leave so quickly? Not because the kids hated this...
|The step niece's private swimming pool|
But because MrS didn't want to impose or "take anything" from anybody. They are family and have joined us for our summer vacations at the Jersey shore before, but he just could not convince himself of the idea that they were happy to have us there and were as sad to see us leave as we are when they leave. It makes me feel a little sad for him.
With mini iPads and a minivan, the trip home was long but painless.
These kids are crazy awesome. It was 2:00 am when we got home and the oldest was helping put sheets on the bed. The little one is a Drew Barrymore clone. I'll try to capture that before the week is over. The boy, who once reminded me of Bart Simpson has figured out what power there can be in middle childness and is hilarious!
Overplan Sophanne is trying so hard to have my laissez-faireishness. The only wisdom I can offer him is to be mindful that he doesn't miss the fun while he's trying to make sure everyone's having a good time.
We don't need to go out to eat, we want the house to smell like breakfast in the morning, we want to have that empty time just to see what can happen next. The time spent is so much more than the things done. All I can do is project that vibe, pick my battles and, as someone from a non-snuggling background, accept the fact that even when a 13 year old is tired and homesick and overwhelmed, a little bedtime snuggling is all that's needed to find peace.