Monday, April 18, 2011

Grandchildren! Who Needs Them?

Well, maybe I should say I do, I need to remember the good ol'days. I also need to be reminded that life is not always about me.

I took a little vacation from blogging. I didn't go anywhere but my grandson came to visit me. Oh, but wait, before I tell you how that went, I have to tell you how it started.

See, he's only six and he had never been on a plane. His school was on some kind of break and his mother had to work. So his mother and I decided to put him on a plane by himself. OH LORD! His other grandparents had a fit. They said we were nuts and crazy and everything in between. We had to endure a multitude of stories about child predators and the slave trade. I don't know, but I think they called Children & Family Services to get our rights revoked.

In my daughters last conversation with her mother-in-law, she heard the big "SLAM CLICK" and the silence. Her mother-in-law couldn't stand the pain, she hung up, and didn't say goodbye.

Okay, for those that don't know it, an unaccompanied child is escorted to the plane's gate (not the curb outside of the airport) by their parent. The child is escorted to their seat and chaperoned on the flight. Papers are signed on both ends of the flight that designates who can retrieve the child. When the child departs the plane(on the other end), they are passed only to the waiting adult who's name is on hand carried documents. Those same documents are also in the computor.

I feel safer putting them on a plane than taking them to the mall.

Anyway, he made it here and now he's back home, so here's the rest of the story.

My grandson is a southern boy, which means no snow. Boy, do I remember the fun I've had playing in snow. Not only as a kid, but with my wife and our children. One winter I broke my wrist while sled riding. I was laying down on the sled and my wife and daughter were on my back. We were riding down a hill called DOUBLE DUTCH! It was steep and fast. I think the added weight increased our speed. Well, we overshot the slow-down area and headed straight for a parked car. My wife and daughter, who were fraught with fear, refused to roll off...    BAM!!! ...  car dent, wrist broke.

This past week,  my grandson and I hit the town. In one of our many journeys we went tubing. That's a form of sledding without sleds. See, large round inner tubes, like those from semi-truck tires, are the weapons of choice. Yep, long steep hills and inner tubes. And, we go at night.

When you go up north you gotta make a snow man!

Wow, I look pretty good in that picture. It appears as if I lost a few pounds and a few years. Okay, that's not my grandson but it is me. The little boy is actually my son and that picture was taken 20 years ago. But, look at the size of that snowman. I'll call that snowman pre-2011. Well, over the years I've gained a few pounds and I've lost a few muscles, so these days I have to rethink the size of the snowman that I get involved with. Check it out. Snowman 2010! We found an open field in our neighborhood and went to work.

That sled riding ain't free. Nope, it's akin to taking a family to see a 3D movie. Plus, it gets pretty cold outside. So after I shot my bankroll, we decided to have a little indoor fun. There's no better place to take children than the warm free confines of McDonalds. Come on now, grandchildren don't know it's free, and filled with grimy little germs. Well, free says it's for me and it does stinks in those tunnels, but they don't care.

And hey, who said you have to go to a club to find a hot chick.

Now, what real black man has never been to a black barber shop? I stop by my barbershop even when I am not getting a haircut. But see, my daughter is in the haircare business, so my grandson doesn't get the full blast of a group of men sitting around telling a bunch of lies. He has managed to learn a few cuss words (don't point your finger at me) but I think every black child needs to know how to cuss in case they ever need to sound tuff. So, it was off to the barbershop. But on this day the language was very clean. Check out the older fella. Well, that's my uncle, he's not the barber. Other people know him as Pastor Johnson. He was there to get his hair cut, so no cussing on that day, but big black men telling big white lies were a constant.

We had to visit his great-grandmother. I told him that if it wasn't for her, he wouldn't be having so much fun. He didn't get it, but later I told him about the birds and the bees.

Oh, my grandson is one of those middleclass suburban black kids. Well, his mother keeps him sort of sheltered. So, like any good grandfather, I took him to the hood for a little cultural diversity. Look at the kid in the bottom right corner. My grandson is in the back, on the left, on the floor. WEST SIDE BABY!

Oh, remember the picture of the little girl that my grandson met in the tunnel of love? Well, she was with her grandmother. Come to find out, the grandmother had never made a snowman or rode on a sled. Now, I can't imagine a person going through life without ever making a snowman. So I solved that problem. Last week, she kicked off her 4 inch hills and put on her long underwear. She never completed her snowman but she had a blast. I don't think she really wanted to build a snowman. I think she was trying to catch a man.

Children & grandchildren, what would we do without them?

Would you put your young son or daughter on a plane by themselves?

Do you have any snow stories?


uglyblackjohn said...

Man... kids will wear you out in the snow.
The last time it snowed down here on the Gulf I was helping everyone make snowmen.
Most people had never been to the snow so they didn't know that you had to roll the largers balls - not just pack snow into a roundish shape.
But after a day playing in the snow kids eat and then go right to sleep.

Kids alone on planes?
I used to love flying out here to visit my grandparents by myself.
I used to look forward to the big cookie and pilot's wings that were given if I was well behaved.
Sometimes I'd meet a cute little girl and I'd try to mack for the entire flight.

Looks like you had a good time.

FreeMan said...

We send them in the FreeMan's all of the time. Most of the boys in my family have been on the plane by themselves because we want them to stay a month with each uncle. So it's common but the women in my family hate it. I keep telling them nobody wants to rape little black boys plus we tell them to say F* You to everyone who is a man. So needless to say I've picked up my nephew and the airplane stewardess said he doesn't like men. It's a joke in our family now but my mother hated it for teaching them the F word.

Being a Kali kid I remember when I was in Philly when the snow first fell. I watched it like for 4 hours straight thinking this is weird. Then I had to go to work in it and then I said this is some BS.

We innertubed out here in LA! Yep we got snowy mountains here so that was fun. Its all about memories man and you have now created some. I brought my nephew at 10 years old with me to NY for a month and he's 17 now and he remembers every thing we did. For boys it's all about experiences and you created a good memory.

CareyCarey said...

Yes Uncle Black, not only do you have to roll the larger balls, ya gotta pick them up to make the body and the head. So, in the picture with my son, I could do that, but now I don't want to do that *lol*

Re: plane rides. I told several naysayers that a plane is not the place for pedophiles to hunt their prey. I mean, who buys plane tickets to see if little boys are riding by themselves. If there is such a person, what are they going to do on a plane. What, hijack the plane and jump out the back hatch?

Freeman, speaking of memories, my son (the one in the earlier picture) was so excited for his nephew, that he came along on the trip. AND, went down the hill (several times) just like it was 1990 all over again. We had a blast! Yep, I too rode the tube to the bottom. Well, I went to the top to take pictures, so I had to come back down.

jjbrock said...

Carey great pictures...the snow don't stick and stay in Alabama... the second it hit the ground it's gone...My sister text me Friday to let me know it was snowing at home but of course with-in an hour it was gone.

A.Smith said...

Well... did she catch a man?!?!

The only thing I like to see more than a father with his son is a grandfather with his son. Too presh for words.

LoudPen said...

Carey, this was such a nice story! I'm glad you and your grandson had a good time! And I miss being a kid and doing simple things like playing in the snow. Me & my siblings used to put on all our layers and play outside until it got dark. I grew up in OH so snow was a big part of my life. Now that I'm an adult it's more of a hassle than a celebration, but, this post certainly made me reminisce.

I'm going to have to find some kids to babysit & play in the snow with. Oh and BTW, I'd put a kid on a plane by themselves after what u described. It does sound safer than taking them to the mall.

CareyCarey said...

Hi Ann, I didn't know if you still loved me after the mess I started @ your blog *lol*.

Thanks for the compliments on the pictures. I had 2 cameras. When I went to develope the film from one (the most expensive one) NONE of the pictures were there! These picture came from a cheap little digital camera $29.99. The 20 year old picture came from an older 35mm camera that I still have.

My daughter said they got snow down south, but just as you said, it didn't stay around very long.

How is your son doing?

@ Ms Smith. It would be you to ask the big question *lol*. Well, since I am not the one to do a lot of kissing and telling, I'll just say that I didn't raise my children by myself. So with this little knucklehead grandson, I needed a little help. My patience is not what it used to be. I can read bedtime stories but cooking a giving baths is not one of my strongest suits. But if you need a few tips on catching a good man, I might be able to help you out *snicker*.

@ The Long Pen. I see you're sticking and staying over at your spot. See, I told you that you would find your stride. I don't hang with the weak of heart.

Oh, When you said that you lived in Ohio and remembered putting on layers of cloths, I also remember those days. We didn't have snow suits we had old cloths *lol*. We'd come home blacker, ashy-er, and stiff with wet frozen underwear.

Be careful what you ask for. Like Uglyblackjohn said, kids will wear you out in the snow. And, you might wakeup with one in yo' oven :-). Ask not want not.

Mizrepresent said...

Oh how i loved the pics! Loved the grandkids! Enjoy my friend, enjoy!

jjbrock said...

Carey you will always be welcome at my spot...Carey,I believe my son will make it and thanks for asking.

TheBigBlackNewsBlog said...

Your pictures reminded me of the time I took my then 6-year-old niece out to play in the snow. We had a ball! Made a wicked snowman!

Maxine said...

My son is four and both sets of grandparents live in another state in Australia. I'd definately consider putting him on a flight by himself at six, for all the reasons you highlighted. He's probably safer there than at school.

Reggie said...

It looks like you had a great time with your grandson. I guess I'll have a couple eventually too.....but I can wait 5 or 6 years for that.

I'm not a fan of kids alone on a plane, but I've sent mine a couple of times before they were each twelve. The whole thing scared the hell outta me, but I was overruled.

Snow stories?!? Yeah, mine involve me, a lot of snow and me not liking it.

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Lovebabz said...

Ha ha ha I live in Connecticut...I have grown up with snow all of my life! So I know the thrill of making snowmen, snowballs, snow wars. Now that I have kids they too adore the snow! And yes kids will wear you out!

I don't know about the kids on planes alone.... I have never heard a bad story or a lost child, or an abducted child. When you think about it, it sounds and seems relatively easy particulary if its a direct flight. at the end of the day, did you grandson arrive safely? Did he get home safely? Then you know you did the right thing.

Thanks for popping by my blog and leaving such wise words. I'll pop by again. Feel free to come 'round again :)

CareyCarey said...

Hello Lovebabz,

I've never been to Conn, but I am sure snow is snow, so I know you've had big fun. And yes, children are a handful. I've never raised one by myself, so I applaud those that do.

re: your blog. I don't know how are why you found yourself "locked up" but I am sure it was a defining moment in your life. Many do not understand when I say it was the best learning tool of my life. I wouldn't change anything.