I’ve spent the weekend having a brilliant time visiting my youngest grandson (below), and his parents.  Consequently, I haven’t finished the Blogging 101 course (yet), but will catch up.  This blog is part of the 101 course – creating a weekly feature 🙂

Orlando

This part of my family live a long way away from us (from my perspective here in the UK anyway).  Unfortunately it always means a tedious journey down the country on the M6 and M5 – and this time it was incredibly busy.  Why is it that some drivers think they are the only people on the road whose time is precious when the roads start to clog up?  I’m seriously fed up with some drivers taking advantage of the tiniest gaps between bumper to bumper cars to slide in and out of the traffic, weaving around and causing problems further down the queues.  A journey that should have taken three and a half hours, at most, ended up taking over six hours!  Most of that spent standing still on the motorways.  We couldn’t even take an alternative route as they were clogged too.  Still, it was worth it once we got to our journey’s end.

Perhaps I should have taken my laptop with me so that I could keep up with the Blogging 101 course, but then I would have missed out on so many of the little changes that have happened as my grandson has grown over the past three months since I last saw him.  Every few minutes or so he would say ‘Grandma’? just ‘to ensure that I could understand that he was calling me, and so that he knew he was getting it right.  If I didn’t react he would call me again.  It’s so amazing watching little ones grow up – watching them learn how to make sense of the world around them, how to construct sentences and how to manipulate the different objects they come into contact with.  I had forgotten how magical it was with my own two children – it seems so long ago and, when you’re young, you kind of take it for granted that that’s what they do.  As a grandparent you can take stock of what’s changing in their lives and appreciate the moments more fully.

On Saturday we spent the day at a local (to them) wild animal park – little man found a dinosaur and was totally enraptured with it (crocodile with its mouth wide open – it was a huge beast).  He stood staring at it for ages with such a wide smile on his face and his little eyes all lit up.  He won’t forget it either – I rather think the dinosaur will crop up in various conversations over the next few months and more!  That and the train journey round the park – magic!

The park was heaving with people as it was such a lovely sunny and warm day, so why oh why didn’t we think to take a picnic with us – plenty of room to spread out on the lawns – my own childhood was full of picnics (even in the rain), so I have no excuse for not thinking ahead. We ended up queuing for ever in the only food outlet.   Never again – ‘be prepared’ will be our motto from now on!!

The main thing I won’t forget is the fabulous tree house/activity climbing frame which may have been created for the kids, but I noticed there were a fair few adults on it (including my son and I), pretending to be making sure their kids were ok but, in reality, going back to our own childhoods for a short while.  I’m not sure which age group was enjoying it more, the kids or the adults!  Then again, do we ever really leave our childhood behind?  It is, in part at least, the experiences we had as  children that shape us as adults and determine what we want for our own children.

Which leads me onto another topic:  Why do I always forget to pack my camera when I’m going away for a short break?  I always pack my camera when I’m going on holiday – it wouldn’t enter my head not to check that I’ve charged the batteries and packed the camera.  Why do I not go through the same ritual when I’m away for the weekend?  My phone is nowhere near as good at taking images as my camera – it takes an age to get the camera app open, by which time the subject has moved or disappeared.  Hence why I have no photo of a Meerkat standing up and facing towards me, s/he’d jumped down and run off before I could get the ****** app open; no image of a beautiful orange Ibis, again disappeared before the app had opened.  Worse, very few images of my son and his family as the youngling kept running off!! You’re left with this instead…

wildlife park

So, what’s the link between the last two paragraphs I hear you ask.  Cameras!  My father always carried a camera and we have an archive of images that document our childhoods (my brother, sister and myself).  My father would no more forget his camera than I would forget my phone – but I rather think he was the more thoughtful one :-).  Modern technology makes us look for a one thing does all when, in reality, a specific tool can do that one thing much better than a multi-use gadget.

 

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