Flying to Where?
For over ten years, whenever we needed a granchild fix, we got up at about seven in the morning, showered and dressed, had a little breakfast and loaded up the car. We drove down Weir Canyon Road and took the 91 Freeway headed west. By five or six in the evening, we would be rolling into Phoenix, either stopping to see the kids or headed to our own Little House in the Desert, making plans to see them the next morning. So it was Tuesday, up at about seven in the morning, showered and dressed, a little breakfast and car loaded But today Weir Canyon Road and the 91 Freeway led us to the Toll Roads south and to John Wayne Airport, where we boarded a Southwest flight. Flying to Where? you ask Nope, Not Phoenix. Salt Lake City. A rental car and an hour drive later we were pulling up in front of our daughter’s new home in Herriman, UT. Just in case we needed something to remind us that things had changed, our flight to Salt Lake required a plane change in Phoenix.
So begins our new life as grandparents. No longer do we have a house a few miles away where we can retreat with the kids to experience them without their parents or where we can retreat for some quiet and some of the solitude we both crave. We’re sleeping in Maddux’s room and even though they’ve let us sleep in, it’s kids-kids-kids all day. And the truth is, they push the limits more with Mom and Dad around than they do with alone with us. OK, I’ll admit, there were perhaps fewer limits at Nana and Papa’s House where the rule was, What Happens Here Stays Here. Our choice of activities is subject not just to the approval of the kids, but of Mom, who is nowhere as easy to please. I’m not complaining, it’s just that at 71 I’m fond of routines and our time with our grandkids in Arizona was was one of my favorites. With time, we’ll adapt and this will be a new favorite routine.
Today we drove into Salt Lake to meet my son-in-law, Lars, for lunch at the Cty Creek Center, an upscale multi-level mall downtown, then we walked around the mall and looked in a few stores. The kids … and their Papa … were fascinated by the Creek that wanders though the walkways, stocked with rainbow trout that you can almost touch. While my wife Muri and daughter Amy shopped a bit, me and the kids waited by a beautiful fountain at one end of the mall. It was all the amusement they needed for about an hour. They bring out the child in me, no small feat at my age. Life is good.