Riding the Teeter-Totter of Life

teeterAs far as attractions go, the teeter-totter is pretty sedate. You might even consider it lame depending on your age. The teeter-totter of life can be a bit trickier. It tends to go much higher than the one on the playground and when I am tired of being stuck in the up position, jumping just is not an option because it is so far down. The other thing about life’s teeter-totter, sometimes you end up in the air unexpectedly and back on the ground faster than planned. Sometimes it actually feels more like a roller coaster sans loopdeloops.

Needless to say, since we returned from vacationing in Belize only six short weeks ago, the teeter-totter has been a bit rough. Parting with the trappings of a marriage of over 20 years and much of the stuff three kids leave behind was tough. I didn’t know the teeter-totter could get tougher, I was wrong.

We went to visit the grandkids last weekend. Zack is five and Haley is almost 15. Realizing I am partial, I will just say it, they are the best kids ever. Zack starts full-day kindergarten in the fall. He loved pre-school and is looking forward his “new” school. Everyone is a little concerned because he has a stubborn streak. If he does not want to do something, well…he is just not going to do it. However, when it is something interesting to him he jumps in with both feet, fully engaging and learning everything he can. He is super active and loves to get up early in the morning. And when I say early, it means early! His Mom caught him up playing with his toys at four in the morning just recently. All she could say was, “No Zack. The sun is not even up yet!” He did go back to bed but was somewhat irritated that the day could not start when he was ready to start the day. He has an owl that lights up at seven so he knows he can get up. Sometimes he brings it with him when he comes out of his room as if to provide proof it is okay to get up.

HaleyHaley is on the varsity cheer squad this year, takes ballet lessons, and plays the flute. She is an avid reader and always has a book with her! She is a wonderful person, carries herself with dignity and grace, values friendships and family, and thinks her Grandmother is pretty cool. Over spring vacation Haley and I took a trip over to Victoria, BC. We rode the Victoria Clipper and packed in everything from high tea at The Empress, a carriage ride, the museum, Craigdarroch Castle, and multiple gift-shop experiences. She is fun to talk to and I miss her already. She is excited about visiting us and even though we are still here, I can hardly wait for her to visit!

ZackMudMilkZack hasn’t between quite ready to travel without Mom and Dad but his time will come. We spent a weekend in Portland and met up at many activities over the years like the zoo, the Seattle Science Center, OMSI, parks, malls, bookstores, baseball games, restaurants, and the like. Oh, and Haley’s favorite museums! He loves playing with Legos and is super excited about the family’s summer trip including a stop at Lego Land. He is imaginative, creative, delightful, intelligent, crabby and moody. I am always amazed at how much he changes when a month or more goes by between visits.

When Zack asked, “Why do you have to move so far away from us?” I had a painfully tight sensation in my chest when I answered, “Because God asked us to.” Later on the conversation he took hold of my arm and said, “I have a hold of you so you can’t go anywhere!” Ahh, the joys and sorrows of being a grandparent and riding the teeter-totter of life!

ToddFamilyStrange feeling to still be here and already missing the grandkids (and their parents). The picture is funny! Zack is trying to do “white eyes.” Haley can roll her eyes all the way back so nothing shows but the white of her eyes. Zack is fascinated by this skill and endlessly asks her to do it and then gives it an earnest effort. He only succeeds in getting a good look at his eyebrows and being entertaining.

We will Skype or Face Time or whatever the new technology brings out way but it won’t be the same as feeling the warmth of a child’s embrace or the look of happiness in their eyes when we finally arrive and they run to the door because they are excited to see us. I had to laugh, Mike said he was approaching this visit with the kids as if we weren’t going to see them for a year. I said, “That won’t work for me, I’ll be on a plane coming back to visit!” Still not sure if he’s coming with me or not. We are hoping they can figure out a way to come spend Thanksgiving with us. July to November, right now that seems reasonable. However, the reality of the teeter-totter has yet to make itself known so far as the grandkids are concerned.

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