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FROM NONNA'S HEART - Long Distance Grandma Goes to North Carolina

I have just returned from a whirlwind trip to visit my son and his family in Raleigh North Carolina. In a moment of grand parental weakness, I thought to myself, the Southwest fare is so affordable. Why don’t I take my 4 year old granddaughter Faith with me? So I did.

The flight out was delayed a half hour due to “technical difficulties”. Faith filled the time by peppering me with questions as to why she had to take off her shoes to go past the “policeman”? It really is hard to answer this question in “child speak” without scaring her to death!

She loved flying and being “inside the clouds”. The short flight was uneventful and we both enjoyed the time together.

My daughter-in-law Lynn picked us up right on time with the 11 month old twins, Braylon and Logan serenading our arrival with screams of “delight”! Both are cutting molars and were not happy to be strapped down in the car over what should have been nap time.

Finally back at their home, we were introduced to their new addition. Dexter is a 10 week old Yorkshire puppy. He is the most delightful, adorable dog on the planet, but of course is not housebroken yet. Why would otherwise intelligent people add a puppy to the mix of an 8 yr. old daughter, twin babies and a 3 year old Bichon? This is when as a mother-in-law, you smile and keep your mouth shut!

The boys are now walking since I last saw them and of course---they always walk in opposite directions. There are safety gates everywhere… I spent lots of time getting the boys to “know” me again.

The night we arrived, the kid’s realtor came over for them to sign the paperwork so that they can put the house up for sale. Oh yes, another minor detail. They are hoping to move back home to Pennsylvania. So now in addition to all else, let’s keep the house clean and tidy so we can show it at a moment’s notice!

Thursday, Kiara, my 8 year old granddaughter was permitted to skip school so we could all go to the Marbles Kid Museum in downtown Raleigh. In grown-up talk, Marbles Kids Museum is a hands-on, minds-on museum that inspires imagination, discovery and learning through extraordinary adventures in play. Picture the Philadelphia Please Touch Museum on steroids. What a marvelous place to take kids of all ages. Each of us had a wonderful time there and I think I took 50 pictures that afternoon alone.

Friday morning, I had gotten up with the boys and was calmly enjoying a cup of coffee when Lynn comes hurtling over one of the gates to show me that the realtor had texted her at 1:20am reading that the photographer was coming at 12:30 this afternoon to take pictures of every room in the house. Talk about someone freaking out!! Poor Lynn. Seriously…who reads a text at 1:20 in the morning? I took the kids/dogs and stayed in the bottom floor of the house while she frantically cleaned and pushed things under beds and closets upstairs. Then we switched so she could continue her frenzy on the first floor. We eventually got everyone dressed, the dogs outside for one more “potty break” and everyone into the car so the photographer could do her thing.

Lynn drove to the mall where we had as relaxing a lunch as you can with babies and a 4 year old at the food court. Next Lynn took us to a huge open playland constructed right in the mall’s interior courtyard. This area was filled with hills and tunnels and places to run free. What a wonderful idea! Faith of course met lots of other girls her age and was having a blast while the boys explored all the nooks and crannies.

Arriving home, it was hard to touch anything in the house without thinking that we were disturbing such polished and complete order. By the time Philip, my son arrived home from work, the only thing still standing was the lovely dining table arrangement!

I got to have a great night with the kids while Philip and Lynn enjoyed a “date night” out alone.

Saturday arrived all too soon. Faith and I arrived at the airport on time and ready for the security screening, shoes in hand. On arriving at the gate, we heard the ominous announcement that there was a hydraulic leak and they were not sure the leak could be repaired. What?????? Immediately the passengers of flight 518 were telling tales of Southwest needing to get a new plane for our flight and this not able to happen until Monday!! All in all we were delayed three hours and they did get us another airplane. Faith cornered two little boys ages 5 and 7 proceeding to entertain them for a 45 minute talk about her dog, 2 cats, her cousins that she just visited, their pets and very possibly what she had for breakfast. Faith can talk non-stop…just like her grandmother. I finally rescued the boys and took Faith to get some lunch.

All in all our trip was a wonderful experience that I will always cherish.

Now if I could only get that house in North Carolina sold!!!

Hey all you grandparents our there!  We'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences in GRANDPARENTING.

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