Weekend Adventures

So we had another “grandson weekend.” Knox, 10, stayed with us while his parents and older sister went to Winterfest, a spiritual weekend retreat for middle and high school students and their adult leaders. Many places have a “Winterfest,” but this one is sponsored by a cappella churches of Christ and attended by other groups as well. The kids and adults all love it. He was here from late Thursday till Monday evening. Next year Knox will be in middle school, so he will get to go to Winterfest. He was a little bummed that this is his last year to be here alone with us.

He was saying as much one day when Finn, almost 7, was here. Immediately Finn said, “Well, you can come another weekend, you know!” I agreed. It’s always special to have one grandchild all to ourselves.

Our first adventure started Friday morning as we hit the Donut Trail. This is a series of nine mom and pop donut shops in Butler County, Ohio. It took us about 45 minutes to get to the first one. We’d heard they sell out quickly, but Knox’s parents were here overnight and we had breakfast with them before we all left. We got to the first donut shop, Jupiter’s Donuts and Coffee, about 8:30. Should be early enough, we thought, and it was—for the first locations.

By the time we drove to the end of the trail, we saw only one little disappointing tray of generic donuts left. That was at 11:30! I guess those Butler County folks really like their donuts.

Fortunately, the Butler County Visitors Bureau was open, so we got our free t-shirts for getting donuts from eight of the nine bakeries.

That afternoon, Steve took Finn and Knox to see “A Dog’s Purpose,” which they liked. We always try to get in a movie when he’s here, and that was the only children’s movie he hadn’t seen. Then we had the boys and Landry, 2, for dinner since both parents had other obligations. It was quite a trip! The part Landry liked best was sampling the donuts we’d brought home.

Saturday Knox asked what was planned. I said, “Finn has his last basketball game this morning. Would you want to go?”

“Of course!” he answered with enthusiasm. “I didn’t even know Finn played basketball.” So this weekend helps the cousins to get to know each other better, too.

After Finn’s game, he came home with us and we had lunch. They are easy to please—PBJ or PBN (peanut butter & Nutella) and Cheetos filled the bill. I pushed donuts for dessert, but Finn preferred chocolate cake.

After lunch, we drove across town to ScallyWag Tag, for them to play laser tag. I’d never have thought of such, but Knox was missing a birthday party at a laser tag place, so we wanted him to still get to play. We met our friend Mitzi who was keeping her grandson Daniel. They all had a great time playing first laser tag and then video games. We got Finn home just in time for their weekend guests to arrive with two boys a little younger than Finn.

Relaxing at home, we had tacos for supper and watched an excellent movie, “Spirit of the Game,” about some Mormon missionaries who played basketball in Melbourne, Australia, leading up to the 1956 Olympics. We especially loved the real footage from 1956. Take away the term “Elder” that they kept calling each other and it could have been from any Christian group.

Sunday morning Knox looked really spiffy in his gray suit, French cuff shirt, and bow tie. Kind of showed up Steve, who preached without a tie. I enjoyed sitting by Knox as he sang tenor on some of the songs.

After church, Knox joined Finn and friends and parents to go on a streetcar/food/park tour of Cincinnati. They took the streetcar to various stops, playing in three or four parks along the way, eating pizza and ice cream. He came home excited and telling us all about it.

On Monday, Knox spent most of the morning on homework. He’d missed school on Friday, so he had to do what he’d missed in class. I encouraged him by furnishing cherry tomatoes, dill mix, and later sliced apples for snacks as he worked.

We tried in vain to find a hill in Covington where your car appears to roll uphill. I had specific, detailed instructions that didn’t work. We’ll have to try that again some other time. But we did get a great view of Cincinnati from Devou Park and lunch at McDonald’s (since we’d eaten at Penn Station on Friday.)

At McDonald’s, Knox and I got kids’ meals. As I pulled out my toy and gave it to him, I suggested we open it. He informed me that he isn’t allowed to open the toy until he’s finished eating.

Then when I finished and picked up the toy, he said, “Well, you can open yours now!” So I did and we got to see what they were. But Steve and I were impressed that being with us did not change his parents’ rules for him. We were quite taken by the poster advertising a Shamrock Shake, so Knox and I shared one.

I know other grandparents to take one grandchild at a time on trips, which is wonderful. But staying at home with one grandchild at a time can be equally gratifying. I think it fosters appreciation in both directions!

Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children (Proverbs 17:6.)