When I married Dan 21 years ago, I had two sons and a daughter from a previous marriage. Dan had never been married and had no children. He was better to my kids than their own father had ever been – especially to my daughter, who was fifteen at the time.
A few years later, my daughter became a mother and we became first time grandparents.
Dan and I were in the delivery room with Jennifer when Genevieve arrived. They stayed with us for nine months, by which time Grandpa’s shoulder had become Genie’s go to place, in good times and bad. After Jennifer and Genie moved out, they were often back to spend time with us. Genie was always excited to see Grandpa and would spend hours entertaining him while she searched out and played with the many ladybugs in our garden. She soon became his little ladybug. 🐞
When Genie was about nine, Dan and I went on a vacation to Ontario. While we were at Niagara Falls, Dan got his one and only tattoo – a small ladybug on his left shoulder – as a reminder to Genie that no matter how big she got, he would always have a place on his shoulder for her.
When Genie saw Grandpa’s ladybug, she decided that when she was old enough, she would get a ladybug to match – to show him that she would always be there for him as well.
A couple of years ago, I was able to arrange for Genie to get her ladybug tattoo on her sixteenth birthday. Our tattoo artists do not typically work with anyone under eighteen, but my boss’s son agreed to do this one for Genie.
Genie turned sixteen on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, we could not make the tattoo happen right away and by the time we were able to, Covid-19 had temporarily closed all of our tattoo shops. Recently, they reopened and Genie was one of the first in line to book an appointment.
It is finally done! Genie and Grandpa happily showing off their matching tattoos 💞
It has been a relatively uneventful day today. I was up at six a.m. compliments of Kat – our little dog has to eat.
After coffee and checking out the news (such as it was), I got ready to go shopping with Dan. Our first stop was Superstore. I ran in to the smoke shop to get Dan cigarettes. (I haven’t smoked since 2010 – I should never smoke again but I am keeping my options open). The clerk was none other than Grandpa’s Genie. I ‘accidentally’ left the cigarettes on the counter so Dan would have to run in to see her. 🤣
We travelled on to Walmart to pick up a few items. There was a big sale on TP. We should now be good through to the next pandemic.
We came home. I changed into shorts and a light top to give Bob the Boulder a bath with the pressure washer. It was supposed to be 31 above (celcius) – it was not.
I froze my butt off and took all the shrapnel I could handle before going in to change – again! I put on a black sweater and pants (the closest I have to a ski-doo suit) poured myself a glass of wine and headed back to the frigid outdoors.☃️
There wasn’t a cloud to be seen. It was hot as hell! I powered through the wine and headed back in to change into something cooler while Dan made us icy cold Caesars. 😊
Fortunately we picked up hotdogs and buns for supper. After wine and a Caesar, I am not up to cooking anything too challenging. 😉
Dan is back on shift today. Kat and I bounced to life at 5:30 a. m. Granted, one of us had more life than the other at that ungodly hour. I fed Kat, had my morning infusion of coffee and spent some time reading the news and checking out Facebook. Neither brightened my day.
I had a hearty brunch at 9:00. That perked me up. I went outside and started painting planters. I am down two with thirty six to go!
I stopped for a bit of a break and my brat of a granddaughter snuck in and scared the life out of me.
The grocery stores are finally settling down here. I am so glad that Genie is finally getting a few days off. She needs it and she so deserves it!
Fifteen years ago we bought our granddaughter a pink ride on car that played an annoying little Care Bear song. Genie loved that car and rode it non-stop for two summers. She obviously had her mother’s love for being at the wheel – and her questionable taste in music 😂. Six months ago, at fifteen and a half, Genie got her learners license and bought her mother’s mini van. Yesterday, less than a week after her sixteenth birthday, Genie went through her driver’s test and passed on her first try. 👍
Having her license, and her own vehicle, will be a good thing in a lot of ways. Genie will be able to drive herself and her younger brother, Rory, to highschool. She will be able to drive herself to work. She will be able to run errands and take her little sisters places they need to go. She will have the freedom to take herself places that may not otherwise be accessible to her. It will be an asset on future resumes. There are a lot of positives.
Of course, this independence comes with a lot of responsibility and concern for those of us who love her. When Genie gets upset, she walks or rides her bike – for miles. She can go so much farther, so much faster, with real wheels beneath her. Will she drive when she is upset? There are other less responsible and less kind teenagers that do not have a vehicle or their license yet. Will they take advantage of our sweet little girl who has worked so hard for what she has? Then of course, we live in Saskatchewan. For the better part of each year, our roads are covered with ice and snow and our dark of night extends long into what should be daylight hours. Driving is challenging for experienced drivers, how dangerous will it be for our newbie? Finally, Genie will be sharing the road with a host of other drivers, some who should not be behind the wheel of a vehicle. Will she have the skill to avoid them?
There are some steps to independence and adulthood that are more notable and daunting for teenagers and those of us who love them. This is a big one. Fortunately, we know Genie is responsible. We know she will not abuse this privilege or take this responsibility lightly. Still, we hear echoes of the Care Bear song and suddenly she is our innocent, vulnerable, baby girl again. 😲
Two of the greatest pleasures of retirement are the freedom to travel and the time to spend with grandchildren. This summer, we were fortunate enough to combine the two. We packed ourselves and our teenage granddaughter into our new Jeep and set off on a trip to see my sister and her husband, and my son and his family, who live en route. Genie would travel with us as far as my son’s and spend some time with her cousins while we went on to our ultimate destination. We would pick her up on our return trip.
Since Genie had recently gotten her learner’s licence, Grandpa thought this could be a good opportunity for her to gain some on road experience. I had some reservations. We briefly discussed the matter but with Genie already buckled in behind the wheel and Grandpa firmly wrapped around her little finger, there was no turning back.
Saskatchewan does not have the most challenging roads on the planet. Genie was easily able to pull onto the highway, get up to speed and engage the cruise control. It soon became obvious that she has her mother’s confidence behind the wheel and the natural ability to keep it between the navigational lines. By the time she had a few miles under her belt and proven she could competently pass the slower vehicles on the road, we were all starting to relax. The time and miles passed.
Soon we were pulling into Saskatoon. There are two major cities in Saskatchewan, both with a population of about two hundred thousand people. We live in Regina and Saskatoon is the other. Genie had taken driver’s training in Regina. She had driven around the city with her driver trainer and on a number of occasions with her father. Since she had done so well on the highway, we were not worried about her driving through Saskatoon. We should have been. The first stretch was uneventful enough, Genie did fine inspite of the somewhat heavy traffic and the volume of vehicles merging into our lane. We were still at highway speed as we were taking the city bypass. Then, we took our exit and entered the actual maze of city streets. The speed limit dropped to fifty kilometers per hour. Genie did not. She was on a mission to get out of the city. She blew past our exit, so Grandpa had to guide her back through the traffic. He was doing a great job of keeping calm. Even when she inadvertently turned into a Costco parking lot, still going well over the fifty kilometer speed limit, Grandpa kept calm. Fortunately, all was well and she safely brought the Jeep to a stop. Once Genie and Grandpa had a chance to regroup and make a new plan, we were back on the road. Genie had the speed under control, she exited the parking lot, followed Grandpa’s instructions to turn left and drove straight ahead – oblivious to the red light in front of us. Grandpa convinced her to stop before she made it into the roadway. He was no longer quite as calm. I was on my last nerve but we reached our exit and soon we were out of Saskatoon.
An hour of open highway to North Battleford and we were ready to stop for lunch. We had the better part of an hour to relax and enjoy each other’s company before heading out. When we did, we came to a consensus that it was time for Grandpa to take the wheel – with Genie at his side, acting as chief navigator. Normally this would not have been an issue. Unfortunately our normal route out of town was under construction so we had to follow a somewhat confusing detour. After circling the construction site two or three times Genie successfully navigated Grandpa out to the highway.
The rest of the trip was enjoyable and uneventful as far as driving went. On our trip back it was obvious that Genie was too tired out from her visit with her cousins to drive so Grandpa drove the distance. We look forward to more opportunities to travel and spend time with all nine of our grandchildren once we are fully retired. Are we likely to put them all behind the wheel on our travels? That remains to be seen. However, this was certainly a special trip and one that we will always remember.