From where I sit

By Pat Spilseth, columnist

It wasn’t supposed to be this way…Holy Week was gray and cloudy with threatening rain showers, sleet and snow! It was supposed to be a very special Easter weekend and the grandkids were arriving at Grandpa and Grandma’s house to hunt for Easter eggs filled with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans. We were going to play croquet. I’d found a set which has wickets of painted animals and colorful balls and mallets. We were going to feast on bunny bread, quiche, fruit salad and ham. What a day it was to be!

Then illness struck…PHOOEY!  No one wants to get sick on a holiday. Plans had to be changed.  

Hey, we’re a versatile family.

May first the tulips, even the hyacinth and crocus and daffodils will be in full bloom. We decided to celebrate Easter on May Day, the first of May, when the weather is almost certain to be warmer to hunt for eggs outdoors, maybe even eat brunch on the screened porch.  

Being a parent is terrific, but being a grandparent is the BEST! We’re so lucky to have both of our children’s families nearby. This closeness lets us see our kids and granddaughters regularly. Elizabeth, who now goes by Ellie, is 4; Charli is 3 1/2 and Max Margaret is just 2. Though everyone is busy with work and kid activities, we try to gather for a family dinner once a month and often visit in between. Easter Sunday, the little girls were excited for days about our annual Easter egg hunt, the baskets, candy and most of all seeing their cousins.  

Anna Quindlen wrote “Nanaville,” a book about the joys and challenges of grandparents today.  “There are really only two commandments of Nanaville:  “love the children and hold your tongue.”  

Many of us raised our kids with the help of Mr. Rogers and  Sesame Street helpers. Our kids loved Big Bird, Miss Piggy, Elmer, Bert and Ernie and Oscar the Grouch, my son Andy’s favorite. We didn’t have all the “regulations” that todays’ parents have regarding cribs, car seats, toys, etc. Isn’t it amazing how our kids survived?  

Kids, you’re so lucky if your grandparents are around to watch you grow and develop. Grandpas and grandmas might take you fishing or to a ball game, teach you how to swim and play tennis. Of course, they’ll take you for ice cream after playing at the playground. They may teach you how to plant flowers, play the piano, ride a trike and bake cookies. Grandmas and grandpas will take a lot of pictures of you and are sure to put extra money in your piggy bank. Grandparents will tell you stories…lots of stories and read books to help you fall asleep.  

Some grandpas can juggle and wiggle their ears. Some grandmas will let you try on her glasses and necklaces and play dress up with old clothes. We’ll want to make you laugh, kiss your owies, take you to the park, the DQ and go for walks around the neighborhood. Best of all, we grandpas and grandmas like to hold you tight and give you hugs and kisses. 

Some of us grandparents might be a little older and get tired quicker than we’d like. We may talk extra loud and maybe can’t move as fast or toss you in the air like your Dad does. But we’ll send you cards and call often to say we love you.  

I love being nana to my three (soon to be FOUR) little sweeties! And I’m really looking forward to our Easter egg hunt on May Day! 

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