Following the mass of birthdays two weeks ago, Tom and I took a short trip to Greenville last week for some follow-up celebrating.
It was Grandparents Day at granddaughter Pearce’s school, so we decided to go up for that and celebrate our daughter Liz’s birthday a little late.
It’s our second year at Augusta Circle Elementary School’s Grandparents Day, and I like the way this school handles it. There’s not a great deal of fanfare – a special lunch in the cafeteria followed by a trip to the classroom. With Valentine’s Day set for three days later, I’m sure the teachers were happy for Grandparents Day to be short and sweet.
Although I do babysit Pearce and her sister Clarke every now and again, I sometimes feel I’m not around enough to make the kind of impact I’d like to make as their YaYa, so it’s always heartening to spend a couple of days with the girls.
At the school we met up with Pearce’s other grandparents, who live in Culpeper, Va. We all signed in and sat to wait for Pearce’s class to come in for lunch. I have to say I was pleased when my granddaughter ran up to us, grabbed my hand and didn’t let go until we sat down for lunch. She introduced us all to her teacher along the way.
The lunchroom was all decked out for Valentine’s Day – lots of red, hearts, even a table arrangement with Hershey kisses piled high. Lunch was homemade – maybe lunchroom-made – chicken pot pie, green beans, rolls and blueberry cobbler (again, homemade) for dessert. Pearce and I agreed it was pretty tasty – well, except for the peas in the pot pie. On that we agreed. I suggested if her Auntie Cat were with us, she’d be picking out the peas and setting them aside before she ate. Of course, Pearce’s response was, “Can you get mine out, please?” How could I say no? I wasn’t going to eat those little green things either. Pearce decided she wasn’t really fond of cooked blueberries, so we raided the centerpiece for a little chocolate instead.
When we adjourned to the classroom, the teacher had a great picture of all her students on the Smartboard. And we found a couple of fun things. First, the kids had written a story that began “I wanna ...” Pearce wrote to her parents that she wanted a bunny. Who knew? She explained she would “read to it and help it go to sleep.” She said she would clean its cage and take good care of it: “I would feed it carrots every day and night.” She ended by saying “I really, really want a bunny. Can I please?! Have a bunny for a pet, please?”
But the pièce de résistance was the letter to us (with a little editing for spelling – she is only in the first grade, after all): “Dear YaYa and Opa, I love you because you scratch my hair.” Again, who knew? I’m not even sure I remember doing this. Funny what kids remember. She also said, “I love you because you make the best eggs and sausage ... you make the best spaghetti ... you make the best pies ...” Just for Opa she mentioned, “You have the best hiding places.”
And if all of that wasn’t enough for this grandmother, she also said, “You make me happy.” I have to say, that made my day.
After Grandparents Day, we were going to stay and take Liz and the girls out for a belated birthday dinner – Papa Vince was out of town.
Pearce goes to after-school at Clarke’s school, and usually when I’m there she asks that I not pick them up until after they have time on the playground. But this day she asked if we could get her right after school so she could do her homework before her mom got home – she knew we wanted to take everyone out for dinner. I must say I was impressed.
So we got Clarke and Pearce not long after school. I managed to get through Pearce’s homework with her – she had “wall words” (spelling words), plus three endings she had to make four words each out of (-ain, -ail, -ay), math (not over my head yet), a page of questions on a variety of animals and 20 minutes of reading. And this is just first grade. I managed to get through it all without looking like I didn’t know what I was doing.
We went to dinner at a new place. I think you could go out to a different restaurant in Greenville every day for more than a year – and be happy with every one. The restaurant Liz chose was Coastal Crust, a pizza place, but one with a menu different from most pizza restaurants. Liz and I had a fig-caramelized onion-Gorgonzola pizza – delicious. We ended with birthday cannolis, and again at home with homemade pound cake (Liz’s favorite), to which I added Coca-Cola cake icing. (I could eat it with a spoon.)
The next morning I made “the best eggs and sausage” per Pearce’s request. Then Tom and I dropped both girls off at school and headed home.
It was a delightful visit for me, and I came home thrilled that my granddaughters were so happy to see us.
As I’ve said before, “If I’d known having grandchildren was going to be this much fun, I would have had them first.”