Weekend at Ernie’s a bonding experience with grandchild


Palms West Monthly
Posted March 6, 2017

At my ripe old age I thought I had experienced all I was going to experience in my life. I was quite content with that, for even the not-so-good experiences I lived through were more than outweighed by all my blessings.

But a new experience did come my way, thanks to my beautiful wife Sharon, who likes to make plans for me and then fill me in at the last moment.

It started about a month ago when Sharon told me that she was going on a trip to Tampa with our kids and most of our grandchildren for the weekend. This in itself wasn’t very unusual, because my sons-in-law live there and sometimes when one of my sons go to visit them, Sharon tags along. That is exactly what she was planning to do on this particular weekend.

Sharon always has my blessing to go on these weekend vacations, because it’s also a mini vacation for me when the house is empty. I can get up when I want to get up, eat whatever I feel like eating and basically have alone time with one of my favorite people – me.

However, a couple hours before my crew was set to leave on their weekend trip, Sharon mentioned that she had something to tell me. That something happened to be that I wouldn’t be alone for the weekend after all.

Sharon told me that our middle granddaughter, Leora, was going on a class trip to Disney World on Saturday and it would be up to me to make sure she made the bus in the morning and that I was there to pick her up later that evening when the bus returned.

Sharon then said that Leora would be sleeping at our house that weekend and I was in charge. Though I spend lots of time with all my grandchildren and they’re always at our house, this came as sort of a shock to me because none of our granddaughters had ever slept at our house without Sharon being there to oversee things.

You see, both of my kids are sons and my first three grandchildren are boys, so being alone for the entire weekend with one of my granddaughters was definitely something new for me. But just as I approach most things in life, I felt that I was up to the task.

Just when I was feeling comfortable with my newfound weekend duties, Sharon mentioned that I had to have Leora at her school by 5:30 in the morning on Saturday and that I had to pick her up at 11 p.m. that night.

Now, it’s been quite a long time since I had to wake up at 4:45 a.m., but I managed to get my granddaughter to her bus on time. I had the rest of the day to myself, which I was looking forward to, but all I could think about was not forgetting to pick her up that night.

I made sure to arrive at her school 10 minutes early, but it wasn’t until 11:15 that the busses started to pull in.

I felt relieved. We made it through Friday and Saturday without a problem. In fact, it was pretty easy. Sunday, though, was a different story. I was hoping Leora would sleep until noon, but it turns out I wasn’t that lucky, as she was up by 9 a.m.

I asked her if she wanted to go out for breakfast, but she just said, “No, thank you.” She then proceeded to go into the kitchen, open the fridge and make her own breakfast.

After about an hour she asked me if I would take her to a certain store. She said she had some money left over from her trip to Disney World and she wanted to go shopping.

I didn’t see a problem with this and I was more than happy to take her to the store. After being there for about an hour I asked Leora what she wanted to do next.

Big mistake on my part.

She asked if I could take her to the mall, so off to the mall we went. I counted at least 11 stores that my granddaughter went into.

Of course, I found a very comfortable seat at the husband seats. From now on I’ll call them the grandfather seats.

After she came out of the eleventh store, it was off to the food court for a very late lunch.

This was another first for me, going shopping with one of my granddaughters. I must say, however, that someone taught Leora how to shop very well. Who am I kidding? I’d bet the house that someone is my beautiful wife.

All in all, I got a lesson on what to do when alone with one of my granddaughters, and if I say so myself it was a very good lesson. My 11-year-old granddaughter was an excellent teacher and taught me well.

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