Grandparenting–Helen 03/28/10

This was one of those magical weekends that you never want to end. We got to spend three days on the boat with our almost five years old grandson, Andrew. I don’t want to brag, but he really is the sweetest, smartest, and most articulate child I have ever met. On Friday, we took him on the Minnesott ferry across the Neuse River to Cherry Branch. He had never been on a ferry boat and this became his highlight of the weekend. Now I must admit, from his point of view what could be more spectacular than standing outside on the bow of the boat, sun streaming overhead, warm, soft breezes, gulls hovering and squawking overhead, while a raft of vehicles are being magically towed over the water, just inches above the surface. The ride back in the late afternoon was just as exhillerating for him and to think that this much pleasure cost nothing!

Friday morning at 10:30 we arrived at the NC Aquarium at Indian Beach, nestled on a narrow spit of the island between Bogue Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. Andrew happily ran from one exhibit to the next, relishing all the varieties of fishes and other sea life on display in huge tanks. At times I wished I were on roller skates to keep up with him! I’m sure the divers in the shark tank was his favorite exhibit.

After lunch at a local diner, we headed to Beaufort to see the boats and pirate treasures at the Maritime Museum. Then back on the magical ferry again for our ride across the river.

Yesterday the weather was sunny but decididly much cooler with blustery winds that made it feel more like winter than early spring. We had to forego the dinghy ride because of a “small craft advisory”, so instead we took Mitzie-Sue, our little Yorkie, to the Oriental Pet Parade. Now the folks in this town are very serious animal lovers and I have yet to meet anyone who does not own at least one dog. It seemed like everyone in town showed up with their pooches, some dressed up in lavish costumes to match the owners, others more creative, such as the two large labradors in stripped prisoner outfits dragging a ball and chain while the owner was attired in police uniform. Just watching all the novel entries was entertainment enough, but of course this would not be Oriental if they did not have prizes for a variety of categories, like “most unusual”, “cutest”, “looks most like owner”, etc. Andrew had a wonderful time parading our “little princess” in her black and pink princess shirt that stated “Princess is not just a word, but an attitude”. Of course the competition was pretty stiff with over a hundred entries and we did not win a prize. This did not hurt Andrew’s feelings, but he kept reassuring Mitzie that she should not be sad and that he would bring her a toy from the pet store the next time he saw her. We kept telling him that Mitzie didn’t understand and she was alright, but our sweet little boy wanted to make her feel better!

Saturday afternoon we dyed Easter eggs and then grandpa Bryce got to show Andrew his helicopter. We fly the chopper (all 12 inches of it) in a large bath-house at the marina. Since grandpa hadn’t flown it in a year, it took him a few minutes to get the hang of getting it airborne without crashing. Andrew took great delight in watching the show but never once asked to fly it (of course, he has one at home, too–that’s where Bryce got the idea a couple of Christmases ago).

Yes, a good time was had this weekend by all participants! I must admit, it is so much more fun being a grandma than a mother–you can spoil them rotten and then hand them back to their parents. “You don’t want to eat your eggs for breakfast? OK, how about a brownie?” No problem nibbling on your chocolate rabbit five minutes before supper-time. A bag of chips before lunch–why not? Yes, we let our grandchildren break all those sacred rules that our own children had to follow. After all, we want to be remembered for all the fun stuff–yes, being a grandparent is my reward for all those years of parenting!

Helen- 03/28/10

For information about Helen and Bryce’s Love Odyssey marriage retreats visit  where the strategy behind these couples retreats  is described in detail.

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