I’m jealous of those whose children and more importantly, grandchildren, live nearby. I know that as grandchildren get closer to the teen years, it becomes harder to stay connected if you don’t see them regularly. Thus was born Camp Grammy. In theory, it was a brilliant idea to bring three 11-year-old boys (one cousin and a set of twins) to Galveston for five days for unlimited bonding and fun.
Our grand adventure began at Hobby Airport where I had my first panic attack after loading them into my car. It dawned on me then that I now had 100 % responsibility for these three precious boys. I cranked the air conditioner to 60 degrees to dry the perspiration pouring from my palms as I clutched the steering wheel. My eyes darted like little pinballs checking for runaway vehicles, dangerous texting drivers and overloaded pickups with perilous loads.
Finally, we arrived in Galveston where I suggested we stop at the grocery store for perishable items – milk, butter, eggs and fresh vegetables. Before I could find my grocery list in my purse, my basket contained Big Red drinks (probably with Red Dye No. 10), two kinds of Blue Bell Ice Cream (which I believe in Texas is considered patriotic), two kinds of ice cream syrup and toppings, numbers 1, 2 and 3 cereals on the high-sugar list, six kinds of candy, and two kinds of Pop Tarts. I was determined that they would put back every single teeth-rotting, unhealthy item in my basket, until they said in unison, “Grammy, you are the best.” I grinned and tossed in cinnamon breakfast rolls and Sunny D, which I believe is the same color as orange juice.
When we arrived at our condo, I surveyed the damage from our trip to the grocery store and its consequences if the parents found out. As a precaution, I elicited a promise from the boys that all they would mention of our meals were healthy salads, vegetables and of course, fruit for dessert. I was happy with their oaths until the next morning when Austin’s mom called and the very first words out of his mouth were, “Mom, we had Pop Tarts for breakfast!” It was then I learned that there is no honor among pre-teen boys. The next three days were spent in a haze of sugar, artificial ingredients and preservatives.
The boys delighted in the numerous water features at the condo, which included a canti-levered pool the length of the condo, a huge lazy river with giant inner tubes, a super slide, two hot tubs, and an indoor pool. Before I had time to finish setting up my base camp and beach umbrella by the pool, my little trio had migrated to the super slide. I gathered up my paraphernalia and decamped to the slide. In 15 minutes, they were bored with the slide and were off on the lazy river where they just always seemed to be rounding the next bend ahead of me. Such was the remainder of the trip, them in front, me in pursuit.
On our last day, when everyone was safely on their flights home and finally back in the arms of Mom and Dad, I was once more able to breath easier.
While visiting my daughter’s family two weeks ago, one of the twins asked me if there would be a Camp Grammy this summer. I said, “Of course!” Then he asked if I would be the Grammy who slipped spinach and bell peppers into the pizza topping at their house or would I be “Diamond Beach Condo Grammy?”
With a grin that spread from ear to ear, I said confidently, “Diamond Beach Condo Grammy.” And I will.