It has been almost a week since my parents left warm Myrtle Beach to return to, what turned out to be, warm Spokane (perhaps they brought the weather with them?). It was sad for us to see my parents go, and, even though my mom told me before the trip that “We aren’t coming to see you guys, we are coming to see Sloan,” I could tell by her misty eyes that saying goodbye to all three of us was hard.
My little family had such a great time with “grandma and papa.” Having both my parents for almost an entire week all to ourselves was refreshing and special. They both made sacrifices to travel across the country to be with Sloan on her birthday but they wouldn’t hesitate to say that it was worth it.
For my recap blog post of my parents’ visit, I wanted to list 10 themes from a really great week.
Sloan 24/7 – I knew my parents wanted to spend a lot of time with Sloan. However, I told them to consider taking at least a day to spend by themselves so they could explore Myrtle Beach or at least relax. They wouldn’t have any of it. With the option of letting Sloan spend a couple of hours at daycare to take at least a quick breather, my mom passed on the offer and looked after Sloan every single minute she was in Myrtle Beach.
Home Cooked Meals – You all know how it is, cooking takes time and energy. It is even more complicated when both adults are following dietary programs. At the urging of my parents (and our appetites), we let them cook us delicious meals while they were here. By the time we were home from work, we had dishes waiting for us such as chicken alfredo and steaks. One night my mom put together a nacho bar for us to enjoy while we all watched “Green Book.” Then, to top it all off, before she left, my mom made her famous lasagna for Sid and I to enjoy later on in the week.
Meals Out on the Town – Even though I would have taken my mom’s cooking all week long, we also went out for some family dinners. We dined at Drunken Jack’s, the restaurant Sidney and I both count as our favorite in the area, on Friday evening. The final night they were in town, we ate at Longhorn Steakhouse, another one of our favorites. I even broke away for lunch one weekday and met my parents at Rotelli, an Italian restaurant in the CCU district. Always on their dime, my parents spoiled us.
Build It and Sloan Will Come – As a joint birthday gift, my parents and Sidney’s parents went in together to buy Sloan a jungle gym for her birthday. Not only did they share the cost of purchasing it, they also shared the labor of putting it together. Sid’s dad, my dad, and Sidney worked long hours on Saturday and Sunday to build it so that it would be ready for Sloan’s birthday party that afternoon. They did an admirable job putting it together, a true showing of teamwork by the grandpas (and by Sidney).
The Parade – On Saturday morning, my parents and I took Sloan out to North Myrtle Beach for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It is a tradition for my dad to take another one of his granddaughters, Mikayla, to the Spokane St. Patrick’s Day Parade so it was neat that he was able to share the ritual with Sloan.
Lawn and Laundry Service – While Sidney and I worked our jobs during the day, my parents were at our house doing what they could to help us out. My dad mowed the lawn, cleaned out the garage, and tended to other landscaping projects. My mom did laundry, washed dishes, and folded clothes. I guess they never got the memo that they were on vacation.
A Night Out for Mommy and Daddy – Sid and I rarely get the chance to go out on date nights. Long before my parents even packed their bags to visit us, they made it clear that the two of us were to go out at least once while they were there. Although we felt a little guilty leaving my parents at our house when we would have been perfectly content just visiting with them, we honored my mom’s orders and hit the town. Sidney and I enjoyed a nice dinner and then went to one of our favorite hangouts afterwards.
Church as a Family – When we are in Spokane, it is always fun to attend church at St. Thomas More (church that I attended as a child). When my parents are in Myrtle Beach, it is always fun to attend church at St. Andrew. My parents, Sid, Sloan, and I worshipped at the 6:15 p.m. vigil mass on Saturday evening. It was the Transfiguration and the clergy member who baptized Sloan, Deacon Jones, actually delivered the homily! Although Sloan wasn’t on her best behavior, it sure was nice that all of us were together to celebrate the Eucharist during the Lenten season.
Sloan’s Birthday Party! – The main reason for my parents’ visit took place on Sunday afternoon. On a beautiful St. Patrick’s Day, they got to celebrate Sloan’s birthday at our backyard party. I know Sloan appreciated having all four of her grandparents in attendance. Speaking of those four grandparents, they all worked hard to prepare for the big party. Sid’s mom and my mom ran all sorts of errands on Saturday and they helped decorate the house on Sunday. The grandpas of course put the jungle gym together and then grilled the hot dogs. It could not have turned out more perfect.
Waaalks for Daaayys – With beautiful weather during my parents’ time in Myrtle Beach, walks were aplenty. My mom and dad would take Sloan out in her mini pink car or just hold her hand and walk down the street. Whether it was going to the park in the neighborhood or strolling along the Marshwalk in Murrells Inlet, my parents and Sloan were on the move.
The best part of my parents visiting us was the love. By love I mean the reciprocity by which it was given by Sloan and my parents. From the moment we picked up Sloan from daycare the afternoon her grandma and papa arrived, there was no mistaking the special bond that exists between them. Sloan was stuck to them the whole time they were here and my mom would make any excuse to spend an extra minute with Sloan (change a diaper, get her from the crib when she barely made a sound, sit in the backseat with her, etc.).
It is sad that they are once again 3,000 miles apart. However, Sloan still calls out for her grandma and papa, she still lights up when they Facetime us, and she still shouts with glee when we point to a picture of them. So, despite the distance, one thing is for sure: The bond is as strong as ever. Don’t Blink.