Archive for Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Grandchildren holidays’ greatest gifts

December 25, 2002

Well, are you exhausted? The big day has come and gone, as has the shopping, baking, cleaning (my vacuum sat in the middle of the living room floor for at least two weeks), friends, birthdays, church caroling and enjoying time with family and grandchildren. One of the most fun features of Christmas this year was a day with my grandsons.

I apologize in advance for resorting to family stories, but I thought the following might resonate with all grandmothers out there, so I will share with you part of my adventures with the three G's in my life -- Garrett, Gabe and Grant -- my three grandsons. To give their even "busier-than-I parents" a break to Christmas shop, I agreed to take these three for the day on a Saturday before Christmas. It began with our usual once-a-week breakfast at the Eldridge Hotel in Lawrence where my husband, his sister and I meet every week to connect and share some (supposedly) intelligent conservation. Well, the two G's (Garrett and Gabe) are not particularly interested in any of this and immediately wandered off to explore. Now, the Eldridge is a fine, historical, old hotel full of nooks and crannies, as well as a real fish pond, numerous bathrooms, an elevator and bar -- all exciting and interesting for an eight- and nine-year-old not very familiar with such places.

During Christmas time it is particularly enchanting, as it features a "down-home Christmas-on-the-prairie atmosphere," complete with cowboy decor and saddles slung over various objects. After munching down an enormous breakfast, and ignoring the adults (and the silverware) the two G's were off again to wander. I must confess to a bit of "ignoring" myself and only heard the stories later of sitting in all the saddles, trying to catch the fish in the pond and having a long conversation with the bar-keep who later told me it was "enlightening and fun."

After much fun at the Eldridge we walked down Massachusetts Street to a toy store that is truly marvelous and spent an hour fondling every conceivable toy "known to man" and most certainly to grandmothers. A bit of haggling occurred in negotiating what toy may be purchased because Christmas is so close. Guess who lost as we emerged with yet another T-Rex and a Bionicle -- some strange configuration of small pieces that resulted in yet another monster?

On to Eudora to pick up the third G, Grant, and hurry back to Lawrence to catch the Santa Clause II movie, where Grandma is thoroughly entertained and the G's spend most of their time visiting and munching on bags of contraband candy that have been secretly smuggled into the theater (their prices are ridiculous).

Emerging from the movie, the sun was going down and home sounded very good, but not yet. It seems a hasty trip must be made to Penney's because Grant was having so much fun, along with his cousins at the video games in the movie theater that the bathroom was by-passed. Racing into Penney's, Grant stoped suddenly at the door and did a long double-take, staring at an unsuspecting woman enjoying a cigarette at the smoking entrance. I say to myself "now what?" as Grant points an accusing finger at the woman and says in a loud voice, "That's very bad for you, you know?" I shrugged apologetically and hurried him inside.

I would like to say something philosophical and wonderful at the end of such a day spent with grandsons, but just recounting it makes me tired. Instead I will just say, "thanks" to the three G's for the freshness you bring to the ordinary, and especially for the Santa Clause II movie --you should have watched it.

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