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.
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