I spend a lot of time with my two grandsons. We’re building memories.
Ever since seven-year-old Gabe was born, I’ve spent a night and the next day at his house. Usually, it’s Tuesday night and Wednesday. Sometimes the day varies, but I always see him at least once a week, unless I’m traveling.
Gabe started school two years ago, but I continue the practice. I play with his two-year-old brother, Matias, during the day and pick G. up from school.
Amanda & Daniel, and the boys live about an hour’s drive from Ashville. I have thought about moving closer to them. I know my daughter would love that. But I couldn’t live in a suburb again, and both boys love to visit my farm and my critters. They enjoy helping me trim tree branches from my trails and playing with their riding toys in the driveway that circles my house. I’m 920 feet and hundreds of trees from any road, so I don’t worry about them accidentally playing in traffic.
First week of this month, Gabe finally got his wish to spend a whole week with me. We never stopped moving, often flopping into bed at midnight. I took him and his pony to Calera for his first riding lesson, took him to Chattanooga for three days of sightseeing, and came back through the lovely north Alabama town of Mentone on July 5th.
I had planned to pick up Mati that Sunday evening, but no sooner had we arrived home than his mom called saying he was driving her crazy wanting to see Gabe and Nana (pronounced NahNah). So we picked him up Saturday at our central meeting place, about a half hour drive for each of us. We headed to the Ashville square for my and Gabe's third fireworks display in two days. I had to watch from my car with windows rolled up and my hands over Mati's ears. He loves the bursts of color but he’s frightened by the loud bangs. We went to church Sunday morning, then Gabe’s Ashville friend came over Sunday evening and spent the night with us. We went to Spring Valley Water Park Monday, and all of us came home exhausted. Chalk up two more days of burning the midnight oil.
By the time their dad picked up the boys Monday night, I was worn slap-dab out. It took me two days to recover. But it was worth all the time and energy, especially when I think about something Amanda said a couple of months ago.
“I loved my grandmother, and enjoyed being with her,” she told me, referring to my own mother. “But I didn’t have the kind of relationship with her that you and Gabe share. Mom, you’re his best friend.”