Saturday is my favorite day. Not for the usual reasons that people enjoy Saturdays but because it’s “grand adventure day” with our grandsons.
My husband and I are lucky enough to live right next door to our grandkids. Jack at six and Harley at three, are at that blissful age when they love spending time with their grandparents.
Jack used to call us both Budda because he couldn’t say, Grandma or Grandpa. The nicknames stuck and Don became Budda Boom because he loves singing and has a loud voice, and I became Budda Bling because I love shiny things.
Every Saturday morning, Jack and Harley let mom and dad sleep, and walk together hand-in-hand down the rural dirt driveway that connects their home to ours, arriving at our front door around eight like clockwork. Don and I watch them approach from our kitchen window, relishing the happiness on their animated faces.
Our routine is well established. The boys burst in the door with a whirlwind of energy, quickly shed their boots and coats, and immediately start playing with the Brio train set, toy cars, or teddies and dollies. I get down on the ground and play with them while Don makes breakfast.
Don is a breakfast master. He cooks piles of pancakes with salted butter, real maple syrup, extra maple syrup for good measure, bacon, and juice. When the food is ready, the boys drop their toys where they lie, run to the table, and devour their breakfast. Jack always tells Budda Boom that these were the best pancakes yet and says, “they just keep getting better.”
After breakfast, we rest our full bellies while reading a story and then we head out on our weekly grand adventure. I can’t remember when we first started calling these weekly outings grand adventures but somehow it started and it stuck.
Grand adventures always include outdoor explorations complete with boots and warm coats when it’s cold and bathing suits when it’s warm. We look for crabs, fish, or shells at the beach, walk in the forest or play in the park. Even though our rural island home is small, there’s always something new and wondrous to discover.
I love it as much as the boys do. It’s so lovely to see the world through their fresh young eyes. They linger in places I’d miss if I was on my own and notice the smallest things. They help me see the world around me differently and find what feels like magic in familiar places we sometimes take for granted. Their simple delight is super contagious.
We inevitably arrive home tired and dirty with flushed cheeks and joyful spirits. After our adventure, the boys go home to mom and dad and we, because we are the grandparents, get to enjoy a hot cup of tea, warm bath, and time for quiet reflection. It’s pretty perfect.
When my days are nearly done, I’ll remember this time fondly, and count it as one of my life’s best blessings. I could not be more grateful for our grand adventures.
Our prayer is that all grandparents, many of whom are isolated from their families by quarantine, may soon have grand adventures with their grandchildren. Missing this time together, this last year, is a very hard loss to bear. We wish you the sweetest of reunions.
Suzanne Zacharias, Co-Founder & Head Tea Drinker, Cedar Mountain Studios