Meilke: Year end activities worth testing grandparent’s commitment to grandchildren

At the moment spring is simply a promise, written on the harsh winds of winter and buried under a crust of dirty white snow.

It’s the in-between time. Not yet a time to plant, but a time to plan and to visualize.

Golf courses complete with lush green fairways stretching onto forever, flowerbeds, flamboyant with colour, still remain only in our mind’s eye. Still we are armed with the sure knowledge that one day soon they will be a reality.

This in-between time, however, is not just a time to sit and wait.

In fact it can be a busy time for moms and dads, for kids, and, even for grandparents because all the winter activities are now wrapping up.

I think it’s important for grandparents to be at these wrap-up events, watching in the stands, encouraging, waving and smiling at their grandchild. I think it’s important that grandparents are not late for the game, the show, the competition or whatever.

They need good seating. They should be able to hear and see all the action and not complain if the temperature in the arena feels like it is 30 below, the overhead heaters are not working or non existent and the seats are uncomfortably hard.

When it is all over, I believe grandparents need to be there to praise or console, depending on the circumstances, of course, and then be prepared to pull out their wallets because win or lose, treats are in store.

My beliefs were put to the test this weekend. It was kind of like a wind-up weekend in my family.

First off, granddaughter No. 1 was competing in a CHEER competition.

I was already to jump in the car, drive to the city, race across the parking lot and plop myself front row and centre of the cheering squad.

Of course, that’s when it started snowing. I told myself it was nothing. Just little fluffs of white gently cascading to the ground. But, then the fluffs got bigger and more intense. Finally, I got the dreaded phone call.

“Mom, stay home.”

I did.

The next day, two more grandchildren were wrapping up their season of figure skating and hockey.

By then the snow has quit, but there was an angry wind whipping a white sheet with about a 3,000 snow count across the highway.

“Doesn’t scare me,” I said, bravely, knowing full well it did.

The figure skating competition was at 11:25 a.m. and the trip to Rocky was 45 minutes. I did some quick math.

“We need to leave by 10,” I said to my husband in my, ‘I’m in control and I know what I’m doing, don’t argue with me,’ voice. He said nothing.

I backed out of the driveway at exactly 10:25 (no surprise) returning two seconds later because I had forgotten something (again, no surprise).

We entered the doors of the arena about the same time the figure skaters emerged on the ice.

“There she is, there she is,” I said loudly enough to cause several heads to swivel in my direction. “The dark haired one, the really cute one, that’s my granddaughter,” I mouthed, gesturing wildly. The heads obligingly turn back towards the ice.

We made it for the five-minute figure skating competition and returned three hours later to watch a hockey game.

He was number eight.

He skated like a lightning bolt, (albeit, a slow lightning bolt), but had a little trouble stick handling when he actually had the puck.

But he looked so darn cute out there, and, for me, and I’m sure his grandpa, too, the other players kind of faded into the background when he was on the ice.

No. 8. Grandma’s hero!

Later that night when I’m home, warm and cozy, I think about the day and the children.

And I’m grateful to have had that one moment in time that made me smile, not only for today, but forever.

And then I fall asleep!

Treena Mielke lives in Sylvan Lake and is editor of the Rimbey Review.

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