Thankful for Grandkids

Thanksgiving Square, Dallas
Thanksgiving Square, Dallas

In May I spent five days with each of my three children’s families–what a treat! In Dallas I got to play board games with Stephen, watch him shoot baskets in his back yard, and attend his soccer game. I walked him home from school and met some of his friends. At 7-1/2, he is an avid, curious reader and a delightful conversationalist. The Eidson family took me to services at the First Unitarian Church of Dallas, then downtown to look up at the lovely stained glass in the tower at Thanksgiving Square, an interfaith setting for meditation and reflection.

Thomas, 4-1/2, is a masterful story teller. Last fall he was reciting “The Billy Goats Gruff.” Now he relates “The Three Little Pigs” with exciting dramatic inflection. Devoted to “Thomas the Train” stories and toys, he explained the names of all the different engines and their specialities. He was a little shy at the swimming party that neighbors hosted, until one of his pre-school friends arrived. Then he plunged in and had a good time.

A day after returning from Dallas, I took the Tri-Rail to Coral Gables to help Tina, the twins’ wonderful nanny, care for Margot and Nina, while David and Leslie attended the wedding of her sister, Cindy, in Cartagena, Colombia. What fun to be with these lively 17-month old girls! Nina has remarkable agility, flexibility, and speed; Margot is deliberate, thoughtful, and verbally advanced. Each morning Margot would look out the window and ask “Where moon?” It was waning that week and showing up farther west each day. It almost seemed that she was tracking its phases.

Adventurous and adept on playground equipment, Nina loved our outings to local parks. She carefully observed what other children could do and tried it herself. Often, other children watched her for inspiration. My favorite venue was Matheson Hammock Park, where the girls could wade in shallow salt water and build sand castles. At Fairchild Garden, they loved seeing fish and butterflies and having plenty of room to run. Tina kept them happy with nutritious snacks and excellent pacing of activities. We marveled at the display of glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly. Back home, I read them scores of books and slept almost as well as they did. David and Leslie returned Saturday evening; Steve drove down from Boynton Beach the next day for a lovely Mother’s Day brunch at Tarpon Bend, the restaurant in David and Leslie’s building.

Two days after Steve and I drove back to Arlington from Florida, I flew to Boston to be with Violet. I got to walk with her to and from school, visit her library, and take her to gymnastics. On Saturday evening, we helped Lilli host a party for thirteen people. Violet made a welcome sign for the front door. Early Sunday morning we went to see Janet Echelman‘s magnificent aerial sculpture floating over Rose Kennedy Greenway in downtown Boston. It’s named “As If It Were Already Here.” Violet and her friend Elizabeth loved running through the park and looking over Rowe’s Wharf. We even made it on time to the 10:30 service at First Parish Unitarian Church in Harvard Square.

I feel so blessed to see all five of my grandchildren often, to witness their developing interests and abilities, and to share with them beautiful works of art. I’m proud of my new job title, “Andma,” and enjoy the traveling it entails. It’s easy to see why I chose “Thanksgiving Square” as the featured image for this post.

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