Many grandparents I know, including me, scan weekend newspaper guidesfor local children’s activities. Many of us plan vacation trips aroundthe desires and needs of our grandchildren. And most of us love toentertain our grandchildren at our homes, or at the homes of ourchildren and grandchildren.
It’s just what grandparents do.But every once-in-awhile, something so fun and beyond expected happens spontaneously, and these times are often the super-memory makers.One such memory-maker happened to my grandchildren and me last evening.
It was a hot afternoon. Hot, as in hot. My daughter and I were working at her home while her four boys (all under the age of 4) played, slept, watched television, snacked, and played some more. Indoor fans were whirring in each room. Windows were wide open, inviting even the slightest breeze. But all that poured in was the sun. The heat. The heaviness of the humidity.
By late afternoon, the oldest of the boys, William, was begging for us to take him and his brothers to the pool club. It was just one of those days… “We just have a couple more things to do. Then we’ll go to the pool.” But the couple more things turned into a couple more hours.
Finally, at 5:00 pm, we packed the pool gear, tossed together some sandwiches and fruit and drinks for dinner, gathered the kids, and began the twenty minute highway drive to the pool club. Within five minutes into the drive, my daughter and I simultaneously took note of the dark, ominous clouds gathering in the direction of the club. We debated whether to continue, but four of the eight little ears in the back seat overheard our conversation.
“Don’t turn around,” they begged. “Please!”So on we drove, watching the clouds get darker and darker, lower and lower, more billowy and threatening with each mile.My daughter and I decided that perhaps the air-conditioned ride was good relief from the heat.
That the kids needed a nice, calm rest anyway. And maybe we could talk them into a little “car picnic” when we finally had to break the news that it was going to be pouring when we arrived at the pool.But then the clouds parted. The sun was there, right where it had been hiding all along. The older boys began to cheer. “See, Mommy! See, Grandma!” they practically sang.
Soon we were at the club, in our bathing suits… and as my daughter and three of the boys were splashing and kicking and laughing and feeling as cool as cucumbers in the pool, I happened to feel a cool breeze whip across my face as I held the baby in the picnic area. And within seconds, it began to pour. Cats and dogs kind of pouring. Everyone who was in the pool was out of the pool, into the changing areas… and gone.
All but my daughter and the three boys. They were laughing and splashing and laughing some more. The lifeguards jumped in and began to play. It was like the rain had come just for them. Just for the entertainment of the mommy, the boys and the three lifeguards. I huddled the baby to me (under a canopy, I will add), and I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much. Soon, the sun peeked again through the rain clouds. The rain diminished from pounding drums to intermittent droplets.We ate. The sun seemed to tire in the hot summer sky.
We gathered up the gear, the leftovers, the kids. There was not one complaint as we left the pool and headed home. We left with a memory. A super-memory of the unexpected joy of swimming in the rain. The kind of memory that probably won’t be found in the newspaper or at a travel agency. But a memory that just happens. I think they are the best kind