My kids are blessed to have two sets of grandparents who are involved, fun and who work hard to make special memories with their grandchildren. Whenever we go to Arkansas to visit Lee’s family, his mom organizes scavenger hunts and fun activities for the kids, all of which usually lead to little trinkets or snacks. The kids love it, and so do Lee and I. We all feel special when we visit Papa and Bebe’s.
My parents work equally hard to make memories with the kids. My dad is a big proponent of enjoying life. I can remember him saying more than once when I was younger that he’d rather spend money making memories than hoard it all to give to us after he’s gone. He wants the memories and I love that because my childhood is filled with amazing family memories.
A few years ago, my parents asked us if they could take each grandchild on a special trip for their 10th birthday. Lee and I didn’t hesitate to say yes, because we also want our kids to build up a cache of memories that they can draw from for the rest of their lives.
One of the perks of being the firstborn means that Sloan got to go first on this special trip. He knew exactly what he wanted to do and for six months he’s been talking incessantly about his trip. He wanted to go to New York City (most specifically “The Island of Manhattan”) and he also wanted to see Washington D.C.
Last week, my parents took him on a grand adventure catered exactly to him. Sloan is my little history buff. He loves history and museums, and he is fascinated by topics of war and invention. Visiting the nation’s capital could not be more up his alley.
I must confess, I was a bit jealous when they took off. Their trip sounded amazing. They had nighttime tours of D.C. planned, tours through the Smithsonians, Newsies on Broadway, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building – this was all on the docket and it just sounded like so much fun, and now that they’re back and I’ve seen the pictures and heard all the stories I can say with certainty that it was a truly memorable experience for Sloan.
“That was the most amazing thing I’ve ever done in my whole life,” he’s said more than once since his return. He still has a lot of life to live so I’m curious to see if anything will ever top that trip.
I love that my kids have such amazing grandparents who believe in pouring themselves into their grandchildren. Today, my kids and I are taking my grandfather out for lunch to celebrate his 80th birthday – a grandfather who holds special memories that I pull from frequently. He is my only remaining grandparent and as the years pass, I find myself more and more grateful for the memories I have with him, and the others that have gone before him.
Grandparents are unique and special and they deserve to be honored and cherished. I’m so thankful that Sloan had the experience he had with my parents last week. Now I just have to put up with Tia and Landon who are both already planning their 10 year trips. I’ve already had to put the smack down on England (Tia) and Hawaii (Landon). I’ve had to redefine the perimeters of the trip to keep it inside the Continental United States.
Mom and Dad – you’ve set the bar high with this first one. Prepare yourselves.