I cannot explain how much more enjoyable these kinds of visits are to me now that my kid are older. On my side of the family, there are several older grand kids, and I remember chasing my toddlers and walking the floor to comfort babies or having to leave the grown-up table conversation to deal with an owie or just nurse a baby or whatever and being so jealous of my sister-in-law, whose boys were old enough to just run off and play. I couldn't wait for the day I could do that.
Well, MY kids are the oldest grandchildren on the Lyon side. A few years ago, I was on the opposite side of the table. Several grown-ups were playing a board game, and every few minutes, a mom or dad jumped up to take care of a toddler or baby crisis. But I was never one of them. I got to sit and smile as I watched them. My kids were older now and happily playing amongst themselves. Even better, I wasn't pregnant in the heat of the summer.
A new stage of parenthood. Aaaaaaah!
So these kinds of trips really are enjoyable to me now. They aren't the WORK they used to entail.
Grandma Lyon went to a lot of effort to create some fun activities for the grand kids: quite a feat when you realize that they range in age from about a year and a half to about 14. There was swimming and water balloon fights and a treasure hunt and more.
During the treasure hunt portion, the kids were still sporting swimsuits.
And here's where it got "exciting." The neighbors to the west (relatively new to my in-laws, as they've moved into this house within the last year) have two large dogs: a black lab and a massive brown mastiff.
The two dogs, who were obviously not leashed, jumped the pathetic excuse for a fence and decided to "play" with my son (remember, he was wearing nothing but swim trunks). Fortunately, there wasn't any majorly broken skin, but across the back of his torso, my son ended up with several deep claw marks and two or three areas that are clearly bruises from dog teeth.
And now he's (understandably) freaked out about dogs.
The owners swear their dogs are up-to-date on their shots, but we aren't taking their word for it. We made some calls. The mastiff is in a kennel until we know for sure. (I don't think there's a real problem, since the wounds aren't deep enough for something like rabies to be an issue, but the owners deserve losing their dog even temporarily.)
Turns out they were doubly cited: first for not keeping their dogs leashed, but second because the mastiff wasn't licensed. I laughed with a cackle only mothers can appreciate.
My son's had a couple of scary run-ins with dogs, so he's developed a bit of a phobia. Not a cool thing. But the thing that ticked me off the most about the situation is that what if the dogs had decided to "play" with some of the younger cousins, like my youngest (who is 6) or worse, the one who is a year and a half old? We could be talking an ER visit here.
I was THRILLED that the neighbors were cited twice. The idiots.
Moving onto a lighter note . . .
That night we watched fireworks from two different cities from the comfort of the backyard (knowing we were safe because the lab was leashed and the mastiff was kenneled). We didn't have to deal with traffic or anything and had a great light show. And that was after the traditional Lyon pyrotechnics, where the Lyon brothers take those tanks and pimp them out with other fireworks to see how big and flaming they can get them. (Safety first, right?! The Lyon brothers are all engineers of some kind, and it shows.)
The last thing of note that happened was before bed when my darling little 12-year-old daughter stared and stared at my forehead. I knew what she was looking at and said, "Sweetie, stop staring at my zit."
"But Mom," she said. "It's so . . . BIG!"
Yeah. Thanks, babe. Just wait a couple years, and your forehead will be FULL of them.
I'm excited for next year's Independence Day, as we'll be spending it with my parents.
(Less than four months until they're home from their latest mission!)
Not that I'm counting down or anything . . .