Saturday, April 2, 2011

New Mexico Grandchild

Our grandson Alex is being raised by his maternal grandparents in a double-wide mobile home on the south end of Santa Fe. His mom died four years ago and his dad, Art's son, lives in Oklahoma and doesn't keep in close contact with Alex. His Santa Fe home is a busy one; he has a half-brother Dylan, a half-sister Kristen and a two-year-old nephew, Evan, sharing living quarters. Alex is a friendly, talkative kid, and we can tell his other grandparents are providing him with love, security, and life values that will serve him well.

Art and I last saw Alex three years ago when we came for a weekend visit. This time we decided to stay a little longer, and his grandmother Anita agreed we could have him with us for the weekend. Alex wasn't too sure whether he wanted to do that, but we assured him that he could go home any time he wanted to. So far, he's been here 24 hours. He's thrilled to have his own room, a desk chair that swivels, use of my iPad, and the choice of what we'll have for dinner. Within an hour of his arrival he had set up his XBox in the sunroom. I hope we can figure out how to get the TV put back the way it was before his arrival!

Today we went to Pecos National Historical Park, about a 35-minute drive from our house. We took the 1.25-mile walk around the excavated site of Native pueblos and Spanish-imposed mission church. Alex took pictures with Art's camera. The trail was paved; we told him he could go ahead as long as he could hear us when we called. He stayed fairly close by most of the time. He and Art descended the ladders of two kivas to explore their subterranean interiors. We had a picnic lunch of peanut butter sandwiches, Fritos, bananas, and fresh coconut. We lingered until Alex told us his legs were tired.

Alex calls his other grandparents every few hours to tell them what he's been doing. Right now he is bored and missing his neighborhood friends. He's accustomed to a busy, noisy household, which ours isn't. He's having a reasonably good time, I think, but I expect any minute for him to tell me he wants to go home. And that will be okay. We've made arrangements to have dinner on Monday night with his whole other family.

Of our five grandchildren, four of them will be at some phase of 11 years old this summer. We see them all from time to time, and they like visiting us, but we're not part of their daily lives. I talk to other grandmas and some of them babysit daily for their grandkids or fly off to visit them every couple of months. Art and I haven't done that. Maybe it's because the last of our eight blended children is still in his early 20s, so life with kids - even those who only visit on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and every other weekend - isn't far in the distant past. Or maybe we're just not the day-to-day grandparent type. I hope there are other grandparents like us. We love the kids, like being around them, and are fine to see them go as we get back to our normally scheduled lives.

This blog entry was sent by email to budsmom1.[secretword]@blogger.com.

14 comments:

DJan said...

I think it's just wonderful that you had this time with Alex. Even though you don't spend a lot of time with him, he'll have memories of this period that he will cherish and remember in the future, if he's anything like I was at the same age!

MerCyn said...

We live halfway across the country from our grandkids and also do not see them every day or every week. My grandson still talks about the 3 day road trip we took a couple of years ago. He was only 4. It's not the quantity of time - it's the fun experiences you enjoy together.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Fascinating and touching post! I have close friends who moved 2,000 miles away from their kids and grandkids because they felt they were spending so much time babysitting the grandkids that they weren't getting the time with each other that they wanted. They have twice yearly visits to or from family -- and they always say "goodbye" with tears in their eyes. But most of the time, they celebrate their new freedom just to enjoy retirement and each other after many years of childraising. So you and Art have some good company!

marciamayo said...

Linda, I feel the same way. I love my grandkids but just don't want to be their everyday nanny. That's one of the reasons I'm keeping my job.

Out on the prairie said...

Hopefully what time you do spend will make that mark in their lives. Being young and active is a plus. I had older grandparents so did few activities. I babysit when I can, I have had 2 at 5 months and 1 3/4 all weekend and getting ready to take them back home later today. It is tough on me, but I know how much it means to my kids to help.

Olga said...

I love being a grandma, but I sure would not want to be a full time care taker. I give immense amount of credit for those who take on that role and do it well.

rosaria said...

Whatever works for you! We live far from our only grandchild, now a teen. She spends a couple of weeks every summer with us and we drive down and visit them once or twice a year. She is close to her other grandma, and that's good too.

We treasure the times we spend with her. Every family is different.

Grandmother said...

All the variations of grandparenting respond to all the various adult/kid needs and make the world interesting. I'm glad you had some time with Alex. Even if he goes back, he knows you wanted time with him and that's an important message.

Retired English Teacher said...

Grandparenting is not exactly how I expected it to be for me. I had thought I would live nearby my grandchildren so they could pop in and out of my life on a daily or weekly basis. I had no idea that they would be scattered far away from me. I wish I saw them more often, but I don't. That is just the way it is.

Enjoy the time with your New Mexico grandchild. I'm sure, just as grandmother said, he will know that he knows that you wanted to spend time with him. And, yes, that is an important message.

Barb said...

Hi Linda, NM is an excellent place to visit a Grandchild. I have a feeling he'll have good memories from your time together. We spend a fair amount of time with our CO grandkids, though not as scheduled babysitters. We had 4 of ours over the weekend (ages 3 through 8) so we're ready for a little peace and quiet!

#1Nana said...

I'm looking forward to flying back to Texas at the end of the month to see the grandchildren. I haven't been there since Valentine's Day. I wish they were closer. It would be heaven to have them for a weekend and make cookies in my kitchen and have them sleep in the big bed in their mother's old bedroom. They are little for such a brief time; I want to spend as much time with them as I can before they decide that there are better things to do than have adventures with Nana.

Tracy said...

Linda,
Thank you so much for your honesty and thoughts on my blog this evening. I treasure your honesty and your sharing. I think your father did teach you to do the right thing; sometimes we don't always get it right the first time, but darn it, the lesson comes when we have the chance again, and choose the right way.
Bless you and thank you!

Deb Shucka said...

Kids need all kinds of adults in their lives. I have a friend who is a day to day grandma who talks with a little envy about the other grandparents who get to be special occasions. There are gifts and costs for every choice.

It sounds like your time with Alex was wonderful for you all.

CherylK said...

One of these days we have to meet...I'm finding that we're so much alike in many ways.

We have eight grandchildren that we love with all our hearts. The nearest two are a couple of hours away but the other six are a days drive.

We just have the best old time when we're all together but I've gotta say that by the time they go home (or we do) I'm soooo ready for peace and quiet!
So glad that you had a nice time with Alex and I would bet that the time was very special for him, too.