Keeping up with the grandchildren–and the pause that humbles.

We celebrated the first day of “no more school” summer with a long anticipated trip to Kidspace Children’s Museum in the Rose Bowl area of Pasadena.

The girls love both the indoor and outdoor climbing areas, including a 40-foot apparatus with a bird’s-eye view of the Arroyo Seco area, a water vortex demonstrating the science behind whirlpools and tornadoes,  water play, and time with small animals, insects and tons of freedom to touch and explore.

Girls with Russian Tortoise

Even I climbed up the ant hill, a dark, twisting and rather small tunnel. I patiently followed two active girls while they climbed higher and higher on nets and platforms, chased along the nature paths looking for butterflies, and repeatedly circled the bicycle roadway.

While they lapped up the water play I dodged the giant water guns — protecting the camera. They were soaked!

And that wasn’t all. As we left Kidspace, we finished up the day at the Pirate Park, all a part of the beautiful grounds of the Arroyo Seco Natural Park.

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And I was feeling pretty good about myself–keeping up with two very active little girls.

And then the moment…

Karina looked at me with those big brown eyes, and asked, “Nan? Are you REAL old?”

A four-year old keeping it real. I hope you’ve had some fun and laughter  this week. Humor–and not taking ourselves too seriously, keeps us young in spirit, no matter how old. Yep! That’s what I’m telling myself.

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.  ~Chili Davis

52 thoughts on “Keeping up with the grandchildren–and the pause that humbles.

  1. Haha Leave it to kids to bring us back down to earth! 😉 What wonderful pictures – the girls look so happy and like they’re having such a great time! You’re making some wonderful memories with them that they’ll never forget.

    1. I have lots of laughs with my grandchildren, that’s for sure. I never have to wonder what they’re thinking about. If it hits the brain, out it comes! 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friend.

  2. Been there, done, that, Debra. The grandsons now take it for granted that i’m real old. 🙂

    I can’t believe that schoolchildren in the US are on holiday already! In England most children won’t start their summer holidays until the second half of July and will go back to school at the beginning of September, though in Scotland school holidays begin at the end of June and end in mid-August. When does school start again for your granddaughters?

    1. The girls will be back to school the second week of August, Perpetua. Some of the schools aren’t out yet, although they will probably be out this next week. And they return to school the end of August. In some instances the school sessions have been shortened by a week or two to save on the budget. I think that’s one reason I try to contribute as much time with the family to augment “educational” experiences. I don’t want a long summer to be too long a break. 🙂

  3. I’ve been wondering where Pirate Park is! I’ve heard of it, but I’ve never been able to find it. Not that I have kids young enough to care much about parks anymore. And I haven’t been to Kidspace since it left McKinley…and that was a very long time ago! Glad you and the girls had fun.

    1. Pirate Park is right behind the Aquatic Center, Janine. It’s a great place for kids, and that area around KidSpace is so beautiful, there were many adults just sitting with their dogs or a book or taking a nap! With all of the congestion and sometimes “too many” people, isn’t it wonderful we have some really enjoyable open spaces. We do have nice parks, I think! 🙂 Hope you have a great weekend!

    1. The girls are obsessed with birth order in the entire family, Nancy. They’re quite funny figuring out who is oldest among all the adults. I think they just want to line us all up! As long as they enjoy time spent with me, I don’t care what they think about my age. LOL!

  4. It looks like you and the Girls had a wonderful first day of Summer vacation. That park sounds like just the place for kids to release some of that it’s-been-a-long-school-year steam. I wouldn’t be at all bothered by the question, Debra. At that age, she’d probably ask a 25 year-old the very same thing. 🙂
    When the Boys Upstairs were younger, I’d be in the yard and they’d come bounding down the stairs, all excited that Summer vacation had finally started. They knew exactly how many days off they had and couldn’t wait to tell me of all of their plans. Those days are gone now, as was bound to happen. Even so, when one hasn’t children, it’s a privilege to be witness to, and a part of, a child’s growth.

    1. We are definitely going to make the most of summer vacation, John. During the school year the girls are just too busy for outings. We have a good time, and as long as I can keep up, and rest later, hahaha! All is well. I’ve heard the weather in the Chicago area was very turbulent this week. I don’t know how widespread an area was affected, but I did see photos of those clouds above Celi’s farm! I’ve never seen clouds like that, quite honestly! Hope all is well, and that you enjoy a calm, and hopefully restful weekend!

      1. The storms haven’t been too bad here in the city, Debra, though some of the suburbs suffered downed trees and power shortages. It is so flat here that if you’re out in the country, the approaching wall clouds of a storm are something to see and those in Celi’s photos were particularly menacing looking. I hope things settle a bit for everyone. I hope you’ve got a great weekend planned. 🙂

  5. No, with all your activities you certainly are a young grandma. I remember the Arroyo Seco fondly as a beautiful place, but I didn’t know they had these great places for kids there. But then, I have no kids or grandkids, so maybe that’s why. Your granddaughter is adorable coming out from that hole.

    1. KidSpace used to be in another part of Pasadena, Inger, and has only been in the Rose Bowl area for a few years. And Pirate Park is behind the Aquatic Center and really not visible unless you know what you’re looking for. The area is kind of new to me, too! I think we’ll be returning often, however, as we all had a very good time! I hope you have a great weekend, my friend.

    1. The older five year old has pronounced me “old,” too. The younger one doesn’t tease me quite as much, which is why her question came so out of the blue and I laughed. But we don’t care, do we? As long as they want to be with us, age is nothing–as long as I can rest in between! Hope you have a good weekend, Colleen. 🙂

      1. Exactly! As long as those faces break in to sunny smiles at the sight of me…. they can think I’m old. But I am redefining old for them. So they will think old is just a little past young. 🙂

  6. As the saying goes, out of the mouths of babes. Looks like you all had lots and lots of fun, Debra. I especially like the photo of all your hands. I just love hand pictures.

    When Kezzie was just a wee bit younger, she kept looking at my eyes. Just staring and staring. I couldn’t quite figure out where her little mind was, then, it hit me. “Are Yia Yia’s eyes sparkly?” “Yes” with a smile. She was seeing the lenses implanted in my eyes from my cataract surgery. Growing old isn’t so bad when one’s granddaughter thinks you twinkle like Tinkerbell!

    How are the fires? Lots of nasty storms coming through here.

    1. Twinkly eyes! Now that’s special, Penny! Karina is doing a lot of putting the family members “in order.” It wasn’t long ago she said my mom and I were sisters. LOL! So her age question was definitely a part of that whole line of thinking, but it came at me so out of the blue it really made me laugh. I hope your storms haven’t continued. And that you have a good weekend. Will the girls see Tom for Father’s Day? If it isn’t possible this weekend, I hope there will be another visit soon! 🙂

      1. She still looks at them, Debra.
        Karina is just at that stage where she is beginning to figure how everyone relates, isn’t she? I would have laughed, too. We had storms, but, they didn’t last long and there was no damage. The big worry was tornadoes, which come up so quickly. More rain coming.
        Jennifer will be over for Father’s Day, but, not Katy, who lives in MN. Sigh. We had such a good time, we don’t fret. You have a good weekend, Debra, and thank you for asking.

  7. I’m sure you’re not “real” old… the oldest man ever to have lived was 116 years old (in Japan) (and died yesterday) and said his secret was perhaps being outdoors in the sunshine…. So I wish you lots of days like this one with those lovely girls and lots of sunshine!

    1. What a lovely reply, Cathy! I hadn’t heard about the Japanese gentleman who died at 116. Can you even imagine! And his secret seems like a lovely way to go through life. Thank you for the wishes for lots of sunshine! 🙂

    1. I usually spend two days a week with the girls, too, Hansi. It is a lot of work, and occasionally friends make comments presuming that perhaps I’m “bound” to the schedule. I wouldn’t change a thing. They are growing up too quickly as it is. I have a feeling in a few years I might not be seen as quite so much fun. I’m glad to hear that you also enjoy your grandchildren! The long days of summer won’t last that long. 🙂

  8. How did I miss this one? 😦 … Oh well, better later than never. 🙂 One thing for sure, I know you will take advantage of the city to entertain and educate the granddaughters!

    1. I do have fun with my granddaughters. Today we were at the Tar Pits–first time for them. It was a very fun day. I have been looking forward to their summer vacation much more than they have. 🙂 Enjoy your weekend, Frank.

  9. Just got back from the weekly tennis lesson with the lad. I’m too slow to cover the court very well so I have to rely on anticipation and guile. The instructor is gradually increasing the difficulty and the pace of the game as our skills develop. So I’m not giving up just yet 😉

    Sounds like you had a great time Debra. And, as for the kids – you can see it in their faces 🙂

    1. Tennis is a great exercise, and lessons sound like fun. I imagine you get around the court just fine, but “anticipation and guile” are excellent resources in a strategic game anyway! 🙂 I do enjoy my little gals. They can tease me all they want about age or anything else! As long as I have good health and keep up with them–well enough–I’m at ease. LOL!

    1. You’re right, Marie. What is age when you’re four! LOL! I remember being that age, and what I though. Hahaha! They do keep me active, and that’s a good anti-aging benefit. I spent the whole day with the girls again today…and I can say that I sleep very well. I’m tired! 🙂 I hope you enjoy your weekend, my friend.

    1. Fortunately, I’m not keeping track of my age with any serious observation, Johanna. As long as I am healthy and active, I’m too fortunate to gripe about age. To a four-year old, though, that’s another story. 🙂

    1. I will just say “thank you” and appreciate any thought that I continue to convey youthfulness in my writing adventures. 🙂 Age kind of creeps up on us, and in my head I really am much, much younger. LOL! ox

  10. Thanks so much for sharing this Debra. Your grandaughters always bring a smile to my face. In Melbourne it’s a cold, overcast winter’s day so It’s lovely to see the contrast. ‘Though I must admit I do love winter, so I’m not complaining.

    I also love the unfiltered expressiveness of children. Their questions and comments are refreshing, if sometimes confronting. 🙂 When my great nephew was 3 he told me, as I was getting out of a bath we’d been sharing – “Aunty Frisha, you have a very big bottom.” I wiggled it at him and he rolled around in the tub laughing. Ten years on, all I have to do is wiggle my bottom at him and we both laugh and are back in that precious moment.

    Savour your summer outings with your delightful granddaughters, with plenty of rest in between.
    Big hugs from Australia,
    Tricia xo

    1. That’s an adorable story and memory to share with your nephew, Tricia. I think it says a lot about your relationship with him today that he can laugh with you about such a personal comment. Yes indeed–the girls are most unfiltered! Sometimes they come up with comments that take me a bit off guard, and I chuckle at how differently they are raised than I was at their age. By the time I was five I was definitely scolded for impertinence when I was that open with my curiosity or made observations (all true, I’m sure) that didn’t sit well with adults. So it’s a delight and pleasure to be able to just lap up their honesty.

      Summer here is welcome, and as you mentioned your cold, overcast winter day, I thought about how much I enjoy the seasons, and each one for something different. I’m sitting outdoors right now and it’s quite warm, but the longer days sometimes just encourage more work…so when winter does come around again, there is a little natural cocooning that feels comfortable. I hope you are doing well, and as always, I just love hearing from you. oxo Debra

    1. Hahaha! I love my little gals…as long as I can keep up with them, they can think whatever they want about age! I’m going to continue to tease them about that, though, as they get older. 🙂

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