Young grandsons at beach house make for a hive of activity

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 9, 2018

I just returned from a weeklong vacation in Florida with my family. It was a family reunion, actually, with both my children, their spouses and my four grandchildren, not to mention my ex-husband. Since my daughter lives on the east coast and my son on the west coast, we are seldom all together in the same state much less the same beach house.

There were times after my kids graduated from college and were settled on opposite sides of the country, that we would rent a place at the beach and all meet for a week. Again, it would be my ex-husband, my children and their spouses and even my mother before she passed away. It would be a week of catching up, going out to dinner, card games, puzzle-working and of course hours spent enjoying the ocean.

I have a lot of great memories of those relaxing vacations and looked forward to this one with great anticipation for months in advance. However, there was one significant difference in those beach trips in the past and this one. Well, four to be exact and they ranged in age from two to six. I love my grandsons. They are all adorable (of course) and full of energy. Let me stress that last part. Energy. Three human perpetual motion machines would be the best way to describe them. They have an on-switch that activates around 6 a.m. (if not before for the youngest one) and no off switch. The other grandson, an only child and typically a quiet one, was soon drawn to the dark side. They weren’t bad, just busy. And noisy. And messy. And constantly hungry.

Not a morning person myself, I found I was awake by at least 7 a.m. most mornings, and absolutely sure we had a herd of elephants running through the downstairs. Little boys don’t walk. They run, jump, bounce, scoot and climb all in a simple trip from the kitchen table to the refrigerator.  They consume boxes of cereal, loaves of bread covered in peanut butter and jelly, drink gallons of milk (and heaven help the family that forgot to make sure there was at least one glass of almond milk waiting for the two-year-old first thing in the morning). Inconsolable hardly describes his reaction to this life-altering trauma, which resulted two different adults venturing out in search of a grocery store in the dawn’s early light. *Also please note:  Soy milk and almond milk are not interchangeable.

Once everyone was up for the day — whether they wanted to be or not — we usually started in the pool where everyone had great fun, and since it was just across the street, an almost effortless activity relatively speaking. Heading to the beach in the afternoon involved two wagons filled with chairs, umbrellas, towels, toys, sunscreen, puddle jumpers, other floatation devices, snacks and lots of water bottles. The wagons were pulled the block and a half to the beach, while the children and remaining adults were shuttled in the minivan or as we later referred to it, the mobile sandbox. Once at the beach, we have six adults to corral four children. The odds were almost in our favor.

Anyway, we all survived and made a lot of great memories — which is a good thing because the camera card malfunctioned and a multitude of wonderful family photos are gone forever.