hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


July 4, 2013

Choosing among your own grandchildren

I never thought I’d live to see the day when I would have to choose among my grandchildren. With six at hand, ages 11 down to 18 months, the choices are often difficult and sensitive ones to make.

All except the baby are active with school, sports, dance and scouting. There used to be a time when they were readily at my doorstep. Now, we have to check calendar dates and make appointments.

Conflicts do arise. As loyal grandparents, we’d like to be there for everyone’s activity and lend our support. But not if schedules don’t permit.

So what will it be this afternoon, Maya’s recital or Rocco’s baseball game? Perhaps we can catch an inning or two of baseball, then hightail it off to the dance in time to catch an encore.

What makes it more difficult is the distance. We’re an hour away from our grandchildren which often requires some adjustments.

“You attend the dance recital and I’ll go to the game,” I proposed to my wife.

“Come again?” she groans. “You want to take two cars? Are you going crazy in your old age?”

I don’t mind a dance recital, especially with my granddaughter. But truth be told, it’s an entire afternoon for two spot appearances that take about 3 minutes each. You’re there the whole time, then another hour later for pictures, rose presentations, and general chitchat with friends and neighbors.

It’s always my luck that the games I miss are those in which my 7-year-old has a field day at the plate. I can hear it now.

“Papa, you missed my home run. It was my best hit all season.”

Maybe a little exaggeration by the tot. Turns out he rapped a grounder by the pitcher and it rolled through the second-baseman’s legs. On came the outfielder who threw the ball over the third baseman’s head into a crowd of seat-dwellers who ducked for cover, sending my boy around third base and home.

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