One of the things we long for as grandparents are the visits from family, especially those cute little grandkids. While it’s an exciting, satisfying time, it can also be exhausting.
In my case, we have a house large enough to have everyone over for dinner. But 15 people, including loud preschoolers and babies, makes for a long night. The kids aren’t old enough to send downstairs. Besides, we want to see them. Unfortunately, the noise and confusion bother my husband and me more now than when we were younger.
Some of my family fly in from a distance away and see one another once or twice a year. So we plan for daily outings, daily meals together, daily confusion – you get the picture. This year the sun decided to go on vacation and send constant rain in its place, so our outings were limited. Our kids are all paying for houses and raising families, so budgets had to be considered as well.
We found it much easier to have simple meals and everyone contribute one dish each. Some days, the females and children went in one direction while the males spent time together in another. We also tried to rotate places to eat between the few families that live in town, so no one was overburdened. We used paper plates and plastic cutlery and ate out together once. The restaurant we chose had a varied menu so that family could choose to spend less if they liked. We made sure the restaurant had room for all of us at one table, and the area we ate was fairly private.
At the end of the week, everyone had enjoyed themselves and were ready to say their goodbyes and get back to daily life. We made sure there were many pictures and videos taken to remember the visit.
With six children and a number of grandkids, our times together are something I really look forward to. But I sure did appreciate the peace and quiet the day after they left!