Why we have them when we’re young

This summer I was introduced to a fidget widget — a hot commodity according to Colby, my seven-year-old grandson. Basically, a toy — a fancy replacement for playing with your pencil, clicking a pen, doodling or twirling your hair when you are bored or anxious. Finding this toy became a part of his mission during his solo visit with us during the week.

When the opportunity to spend time with a grandson for a week popped up, I grabbed it! Five-year-old Jaxon was still committed to an activity, so he stayed with Laura Marie, his mommy, in South Carolina. However, Colby was available for Nannie time.

Laura Marie has been juggling full-time work as an educator and raising two energetic boys as her husband — my son — was deployed serving our country in the Middle East.

The family geared up for action to give her some relief. During the week, we conquered 24 hours of driving in 2 days, visited with 4 generations of family, chatted about life, threw a football with a nice spiral, combed the stores for fidget widgets, visited the beach, played boardwalk games, drove bumper cars, tested drones, chased squirrels and added even more photo apps on our iPhones.  George and I were exhausted.

My husband and I sat in wonder after he fell asleep at night — how did we survive seven children?  We did! — and with the fondest of memories, sprinkled with visions of hard lessons.  But we were young-er.

We were reminded about the rewards after seeing the joy of sleepy morning eyes with a favorite worn stuffed animal. The giggles, the curiosity of life and of course, the tender kisses and bear hugs during times of joy.

My daughters, husband, sister, dad and I shared quality and silly experiences with Colby to make memories that will last him a lifetime.

We even had a surprise phone call from his daddy — my son — after Colby went to catch and release some squirrels who have been digging up our plants.

Daddy heard about the walks on the sand dunes, the games, prizes and rides with his aunties at the beach boardwalk, the building project with his great-grandfather, Papper, and most of all — the news that his son was doing ok.

I had fond memories raising my children.  Christopher was the oldest and super close to my mom — his Nana — spending as much time as possible with her during her life. And now I see how this bond is developing between me and my own grandsons.

Delivering Colby back to his Mommy at a halfway spot in NC, I was a mixture of emotions. Sad to say goodbye, but so joyous in seeing Mommy and son in a reuniting snuggle.

A ritual has been started for the future. He even bought a new suitcase for the next family getaways. Little brother, Jaxon can’t wait for a future visit of his own. Colby returned home with his fidget widget, a reminder of Nannie — similar to the old-fashioned string on your finger.