The Family Dynamic

The muppets and I made a mad dash for the sunny Southern California coast this past weekend. During our whirlwind family reunion tour I was reminded how much I miss living near my extended family.

(Tanget – but pertinent: While I was away my Twitter account got hacked. I apologize if you got a random message from me. I assure you I am not ROFL from a picture I found of you, I am not finally working from home making lots of money, nor have I ordered a replica Rolex that looks totally real. If you have no idea what I’m talking about or what this Twitter is, please disregard this interruption to your previously scheduled post.)

The muppets and I loaded up the MomMobile bright and early and hit the road. Being the clever parent that I am, I was prepared to entertain the boys on the car ride with the CD from our Music Together class. I had visions of a family sing-along as we coasted down the coast. (Granted, this vision was more in the theme of a Griswald family vacation, inching along the miles and miles of Central Coast nothingness in a minivan complete with wood paneling.)

I lasted 45 minutes. How long could you take that?

Must remove everything not nailed down.

Five hours and 15 minutes later we pulled into G.G.’s driveway. Stopping at my grandmother’s has been my standard since I initially moved away. She’s really only about a half hour north of the final destination of my parents’ house, but it makes the drive seem much shorter.

When I was in high school, I knew everything. My parents were total duds and a complete embarrassment to me. I declared that I was going to a college as far away as possible, moving there and never coming back. (I have it on good authority that I was quite a delight to be around during this sullen brooding brilliance phase.)

“As far away as possible” turned out to be a 45-minute frequent-flyer flight upstate. I was FREE! But then I grew up. And I realized Mom was right all along.

So now we drive. Singing about equine’s equipped with utensils. (And leaving very large tips for the nice waiter who had to clean up after the muppets full body restaurant lunch.)

The three of us piled into G.G.’s living room. Her great-grandsons immediately set about pulling down every object within reach. During the destruction, we also got to introduce the boys to AuntJ (finally). At one point Destroy crawled over to G.G. and looked up at her with his big round M&M eyes.

“Say, ‘I love you,’” I instructed him. “Lala ooooo!” responded my little mimic. My son is clearly a genius. (Anyone who tries to claim the little man was merely experimenting with his power of speech will be dutifully ignored. He said, “I love you.” I LOVE YOU, clearly.)

AuntJ, being a reading specialist, really wanted to share some concepts of print. She set about trying to read “Little Blue Truck,” but Destroy was distracted about two pages in by a cabinet. A non-baby-proofed cabinet! So we worked on some opposites instead.

Open. Close. Open. Close. Open. Close. Open. Close. Open. Close.


Finally I scooped them up and headed home to see GrammaJ and GrampaStavo. I’m not entirely sure either grandparent realized I was home to visit. (My childhood room has been turned into an office. Am I ever going to live at home again? No. So how do I feel about the new room redesign? Put it back.) There really is a chemical change that happens to a parent the moment the become a grandparent.

Search and Destroy toured the kitchen, opening and closing every drawer and cabinet before turning their focus to food. By nightfall they should have been exhausted. But when I returned to the guest room (you see where I’ve been relegated) to retire for the evening, I immediately saw Destroy’s little head pop up from his Pack-n-Play – grinning broadly.

Shake that little groove thang!

I know, little man, I know. It’s hard to watch the world change around you. Things are different, traditions change. The place doesn’t even look like it did a decade ago. But there’s still a lot of fun to be had.

There was not enough time in our weekend to spend enough time with our family. The muppets enjoyed every moment – who wouldn’t like being the center of attention.

We played with cupboards. We had dance parties near the jukebox. We swam in the pool, flooding me with memories of the hot summer days of years gone by.

Sunday, G.G., GrammaJ and I went to celebrate the pending nuptials of UnclePaul at AuntSteph’s bridal shower. GrampaStavo and AuntJ were left to babysit. The previous weekend, Search and Destroy had spent 15 minutes alone with GrampaStavo. Destroy peed on him and Search pooped on him.

We were at the shower 15 minutes before I called to check in. But the excitement had worn them out – the muppets spent the shower sleeping, AuntJ spent the shower sunning by the pool. Greatest babysitting job. Ever.

That afternoon, as I sat chatting with G.G., she turned to me and said, “I wish you didn’t live so far away.”

Who knew that 45-minute frequent-flyer flight really would be as far away as possible.


Filed under Family Stories, Home, Vacation

3 Responses to The Family Dynamic

  1. Gramma J

    I hear Raffi singing! They sure did have a full weekend! Camp Cosaro open for business

  2. Joanne Hamann

    I rather love Camp Cosaro myself! Who needs the Beverly Hills Hotel? I’m sure the feeling is the same.

    Hey Tricia – I want a hard copy of that pic of all of us with GG and the funny face, ok?


  3. Gramma J

    yes even gpa stavo loved camp COSARO, specially the soccer moments in the pool with the boys [sorry JON but it came so naturally, it must be in the dna] thank you CADEN and LOGAN for bringing a few moments of happiness , joy and a big smile to gma janet, ggma Winnie aunt Joanne and for that i love you even more
    ps. Leo too was happy to clean after your meals ….. ciao tutti love gpa Stavo

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.