by Tom Sims
It started on a Friday afternoon. I was in charge of our grandson, Kaibian until time for Vacation Bible School.
I had an hour to use up and I happened to pass Aerosports Fresno.
There, it is about trampolines and most anything on which, off which, or around which one can bounce. There is plenty of sitting room for the adults and plenty of bouncing room for the kids. The adult registers online, signs up the kid on his or her account, signs a waiver, and pays by the hour. $1 is deducted for checking in online!
That is about all I paid for the weekend.
It was almost too much fun. I had to drag the boy away.
And I had a few good cat naps.
Then, it was off to Vacation Bible School at New Heights Church. Their theme was Agency D3, a sort of spy drama that kids and teachers acted out all week with all the costumes, props, and role playing to make the discovery of bible truth fun and engaging. It was their last night and there were presentations, pizza, and a carnival to celebrate the week.
Lots of doting, picture-taking, video capturing grandparents joined me.
That was free. Hint: There are Vacation Bible Schools all over town, some in the morning, some in the evening, most of them free!
The next day, Grandma entertained the young man with outside door chores, also free, and I went about my business and brought my granddaughter, Jorgia home with me to play with Kaibian. After dinner, a movie, and some wind-down games, the day was done and another 24 hours of entertainment challenges came to completion.
The next morning, as we prepared for church, I expressed gratitude for PBS Kids online.
Church always helps with 2-3 hours!!!
Lunch at Burger King was not free, but it was cheap and Great Grandma paid. The very fact that a table was shaped like a car sparked enough imagination to be entertaining. It is amazing how little it takes sometimes to entertain a kid.
Sunday afternoon was about drawing and writing and jumping and playing. There are bikes in the backyard, a swing on the tree, and a few other things outside to stimulate the imagination.
The early evening brought another movie and we recorded the kids dancing to Rio 2. The video is too long to include, but it is priceless and more popular than the movie itself at our house.
After that, there was a convergence of neighborhood grandchildren forming a bike caravan. What a site it was! The children on bikes were in the lead, followed by a neighbor grandma on her bike, followed by me in the chase car, followed by our dog.
The only oncoming traffic we met were people walking dogs. There was the obligatory sniffing, greeting, and waving, and we kept going. The humans restricted themselves to the greeting and waving.
Everyone ended up at the neighbor grandma’s swimming pool, where the grandmas talked, the grandkids swam, and everyone had fun while grandpa went home and went to bed.
Then came Monday morning and both grandchildren were still at my house.
Everyone had their hand in breakfast preparation – which made it much longer to prepare — and that is a good thing!
Then, they decided to write and illustrate a book about dangerous things that can happen to people when they are not careful. That took about an hour —- which is about four units of grandpa time when one is in entertaining mode.
I was told that after that, I was to make a special herb/fruit tea. It consisted of about three ounces of decaffeinated fruit tea, three ounces of cream, some sweetness, a tablespoon of strawberry jam, and a spoon. The spoon is vital.
Still, in the scheme of things, almost everything is free in this article. It may tax the imagination, but it helps stave off senility to think!
Later in the morning (Monday if you are tracking) I took the kids to another church program called “Build a Child” at 4141 Ministries. It has been running all summer and will run until August 8. The kids have been planting gardens, painting sides of buildings, building forts, constructing a Sponge Bob town, practicing their reading, and expressing themselves. Grandparents have been welcome to hang around and I have been in and out.
Grandma has been there every day.
Did I mention that it is free?
All that coming to a close around 2 or 3 p.m. left two grandchildren exhausted and two grandparents panting, but gratified.
It was a fairly easy weekend because one event flowed into another and we did not go broke.
There is no better job on earth than being a grandparent!