We are back and ready to return to the normal routine. School let out the 19th and the kids have had a great break. We left for Michigan, where my grandmother lives, on the 24th. My mom went with me and the kids – John stayed home to work. It was a great trip – cold and dreary weather, but warm and loving grandmother and lots of cousins’ kids to play with. We traveled Monday and Friday – normally it is an 8 hour ride, but with three kids we were looking at 10. I have made many offerings to the God of minivan DVD players – said God deserves many offerings after this trip.
Lets get back to that “warm and loving grandmother” part. My grandma was anything but warm and loving when I was growing up. She was more like grumpy. We knew she loved us, because, um, well, because we were her grandkids. Yeah, that’s it. But otherwise, she was grumpy, always fighting with someone in the family, always reprimanding us for being too loud, too boisterous, too sassy. Over the past 15 years, though, she has done a 180. She shines when her great grandchildren walk into the room. There are pictures everywhere. She displays art and poetry they produce. She brags about them. It is absolutely wonderful.
I went out Thursday night with my cousin and her husband. Otherwise we spent most of the time at my aunt’s so the kids could play with their first cousins once removed – or is it second cousins? My aunt lives out in the country – one of my cousins lives with her with her two daughters and my uncle babysits my other cousin’s daughter, so there were lots of girls to play with. Additionally, my uncle and aunt have a four wheeler, a horse and a big yard to play in. The girls had a ball.
After playing with her cousins for a couple days, though, Bird tried out the term “ain’t” a couple times. It was funny – she used it in a very calculated way and eyed me out of the corner of her eye as she said it each time. I ignored it the first time. But when she said it again, I had to bite that in the bud. I’m not a vocabulary snob – but that is one word I can’t abide.