Saturday, we attended one of our precious grandson’s 4th birthday party at Choo Choo Bob’s in St. Paul, a delightful toy train store, an ideal location for a birthday party catering to both young and old train aficionados.
A bevy of youngsters full of boundless energy reveled in the overly stimulating environment, hungry for the delivered pizza, clawing at the freshly cut fruit, devouring the crunchy chips while thirsty for the low sugar juice sippers, while caught up in a frenzy of wonderment as they scrambled to get their hands on the next train display within reach.
We couldn’t wipe the smiles off of our faces, watching three of our total six grandchildren darting about Choo Choo Bob’s. As they scurried by they’d look our way with sparkly eyes and wide smiles hankering for a moment’s approval from their Grandma and Grandpa, pleased to have us there with them as witnesses to their childish frivolity, as we were pleased to be there with them.
The two hours flew by in a blur. A few of the adults, friends of son Greg and daughter-in-law Camille were obviously aware of our upcoming adventure, asking questions and offering much welcomed tidbits of travel wisdom.
As Tom and I sat side-by-side in our two well-placed chairs with thighs touching, we had full view of the festivities. From time to time our eyes would meet and we’d smile at one another, the little crinkles around our eyes accentuating our advancing age.
It was a mixed bag, this day of celebration of this little boy, full of energy and curiosity, already a unique personality of adorable quirks and mannerisms with the ability to chatter on endlessly about the simplest topics. He could talk about “ants” for an hour, tilting his adorable little head to emphasis a point which invariably provokes a guttural laugh in the listener. It was his day. He deserved it.
But..all the while the aching reality looms over me. We will miss many of these milestones in their lives over the next number of years. How long? We don’t know at this point.
Many retiring baby boomers move to warmer climates throughout the US such as, Florida, California, Arizona, North Carolina and more, often to senior communities, far away from family. Many seniors move to tax free states to increase their spendable income in these tough economic times.
They find a way to work it out, to spend holidays together, to show their love and to continue to be a vital influence in the lives of their grandchildren, that which we relish on yet another special day, today…Mother’s Day.
May all the mothers and grandmothers find today a memorable day filled with love, purpose and fulfillment.