Marines.Together We Served

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

It's Thursday Night

My wife and I have truly enjoyed being grandparents for nearly two years now. However, before we entered the world of grand parenting, I remember the many times of politely enduring those people who would gush over their grandkids, attempting to convince anyone who would listen that their grandchildren were the brightest and most talented children ever to walk the face of the earth. To turn a phrase: Extolling the prodigy of their progeny.

In the space of eighteen months we acquired four grandchildren. Each of our daughters had a daughter and the other two grandkids came to us by way of marriage. Truth be told, if we’d known how much fun grandkids are, we’d have skipped having kids and gone immediately to grandkids!

I was always amused when I would see one of those license plate holders that reads, “My grandkids are cuter than your grandkids!” Or the friend who had to bailout on a round of golf because he had to watch his grandkids. Are you serious? I used to chuckle at such obvious manipulation thinking I would never, ever humiliate myself in such a manner. Silly me! The only way I can explain this is that I had not yet been introduced to the joys of being a grand parent. Now I have seen the light! I’m a true believer!

The four grandkids all live within thirty minutes of our home, a blessing which we are most thankful for. I have noticed that my wife, Isaura, and I make our plans now so as to factor in where the grandkids will be and whether or not we’ll be able to have them to our home on a given day. Will we have them all at one time, or individually?

When our girls were small, Friday night was “Cookie Night.” When Laura and Jenny were old enough to hold an egg in their hands, I would have them stand on a chair by the kitchen counter and we’d carefully break the egg into the cookie dough mix. These tended to be messy affairs, but the joy and wonder of it as a parent was priceless. I’m looking forward to that moment with our two littlest ones! On Saturday morning it was “Family Breakfast,” usually consisting of pancakes and bacon, orange juice, coffee and perhaps some scrambled eggs. The girls would help me prepare this meal which served two purposes: 1) It gave my wife a break so she could rest while I had the girls to myself, and 2) I experienced the release of my creative flare, giving way to the imaginations of my mind in concocting yet another culinary masterpiece. In reality, I was simply hoping everything would be palatable.

Now that there are several grandkids to enjoy, I am in my element. Friday night has become something more than cookies. In fact, we are attempting to get together with our kids, our sons-in-law and our grandkids for “Game Night” and crepes. This is where we sit around the kitchen table and play Mexican Train or Yahtzee. Things do get lively! At some point I slip away from the game and fire up the stove in preparation for crepes (I make all my food from scratch – something I picked up from my grandmother, Bambi.). Making crepes is really quite simple. You can make the batter in five minutes. The trick is to have the correct pans (crepe pans), and then have the stove burners at the proper heat level. The difference between a crepe used for a meal and a crepe for dessert is the amount of sugar added to the mix. I have two pans going at one time so that I can keep them coming as they are rapidly consumed. We put out such tasty items to roll into the crepes like: cinnamon sugar, homemade jams with Cool Whip, or fresh fruit.

Less than twelve hours later we come back together at the house for Saturday morning breakfast. The choices are: Belgian Waffles, Fluffy French Toast, or Killer Pancakes. Then there’s my Puffy Omelet – Yum! The grandkids love this stuff!

So along about mid-week each week, Isaura and I begin to get excited about the weekend. Which grandkids are coming over? What special things do we want to do with them? Will they be staying overnight?

Ah! But it’s on Thursday night that gets things kicked off. Isaura takes Fridays off from her work, so we have twenty-one month old Alyssa Grace stay the night on Thursday. Her mom, Laura, has to be at work early the next morning, as does hubby, Ken. Driving the mile and a half (almost) from Laura and Ken’s to our house, Alyssa starts a sing-song chant, “Dandaddy – Meema – Dandaddy – Meema” The closer they come to our house the louder Alyssa’s chant becomes. Once inside the house and the exuberant greetings are over, Alyssa walks over to the stuffed chair, pats her hand on the seat, and in a tone that brooks no argument, says to me, “Sit down!” Once I comply, she grabs a book from her book basket, crawls into my lap, and waits for me to begin reading to her. The rest of the evening (besides reading numerous children’s books, often the same ones over and over again) consists of playing hide-and-go seek, peek-a-boo, ready-set-go!, a nice hot bath with her Meema, and finally having her fall asleep on our queen-sized bed.

Thursday night is only the beginning of our weekend! ‘Game Night” on Friday is up next, with Saturday morning breakfast right behind, frequently followed by dinner together on Sunday afternoon.

As my grandmother used to say – more as a statement than as a question, “Isn’t life grand!”

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