- making homemade ice cream in the cylinder thing with rock salt, ice and the loud grinding sound
- playing ghost in the graveyard or swinging statues with my sister and cousins
- hosting slumber parties on a regular basis for a large crowd of girls
- jumping on the trampoline
- spending all day long at the King George pool
- shooting hoops and playing a round of horse at home
- Playing with our Glamour Gals
- Watching The Little's, The Smurfs, Gilligan's Island reruns and the like
- Friday Night Videos on the 13", turn-dial, black and white tv in our bedroom
When you read my list, you might notice that I've left off something that most people would have included right away. I have no reference at all to grandparents. As the youngest child of older parents, all of my grandparents had died by the time I was four years old. In all fairness, I did have a step grandmother, but it wasn't the same at all, as my mom's dad had died several years before I was even born.
I do not have the fond memories that other people have of spending the night at Mawmaw's house, Papa taking them fishing, helping them in a garden or so on. I can always remember other people talking about what they did with their grandparents that weekend or over the summer. It was never an issue while I was growing up. It just was what it was, if you may.
Now that I am Momma to Miles, 5, and Lola, nearly 3, I am extraordinarily thankful for the time that they get to spend with Mawmaw, PopPop, Memaw and Papaw. They have completely different experiences at the two places. My parents live on a farm in the country. (They haven't always lived there. In fact, as late as when Miles was born, they simply owned the land and planned to build a 'cabin' there.) Now they have gardens, occasional animals, two dogs (Lillie and Butch) and eight acres. On the other hand, Phillip's mom and dad live in a bustling area of Franklin. Their house is part of a retirement community, and though large, does not include a yard for ripping and running. It doesn't matter which set of parents they go to visit. Both spoil them just like a grandparent should.