Summer weekends spent with my grandparents were full and wonderful. My sister and brother were so much older than I was, it was as if I was an only child. My Nana and Pop ate it up. They would allow me to tag along on their real estate business and hand out keys to the summer rental folks that stopped by their office, which was attached to their home, on the beach in Cape Cod. Evenings, I was allowed to sleep in the outdoor screened porch and most of my days were spent swimming and digging for clams for dinner. Nana was always afraid I would be bored coming to visit because they were never “off duty,” but these were the days when she sent me packing with a towel under one arm and a sack lunch in the other. The only rule I had was that I be home and ready for dinner at 5. This required taking a stone cold shower in their outside stall attached to the garage, to make sure I wasn’t carrying my weight in sand in my bathing suit. On rainy afternoons I got to help snap green beans with Nana for supper or play cards with Pop. As far as I was concerned the Cape was heaven!
Now that I am the Nana, I have received this blessing back many times over. In His infinite wisdom, the good Lord spaced my family out, so as to allow me to truly treasure this “grand” parent gig. Watching my oldest daughter raise her family has, at many times, been a hoot. It does my heart good to witness this child of mine try to avoid the pitfalls that face all of us parents at one time or another as our children enter those frightening, teenage years. Nothing beats the look of pride that I saw on my oldest granddaughters face as she took charge of my youngest grandson at a recent family event. This week I get the chance to “play” Nana again, and I can hardly contain my pleasure. I have put out plenty of books, crayons and drawing paper in preparation.
I understand the concern my Nana had about being a bore, but now truly appreciate the luxury of the time we shared together. We are never able to get these moments back. I am looking forward to any chance I have to be a part of a new generation’s memories in the making.