March 10, 2012: 10 Things I Love about Grant
Grant and I just got back from a weekend in sunny Phoenix. I would describe it as a "weekend on a whim" and was nothing short of fantastic. With all of my travels, Southwest Airlines has not only deemed me as an A-lister, but they have also issued me the coveted "Companion Pass". Basically I name my companion and for a year (up for renewal :)), my named companion accompanies me for free anywhere that Southwest flies. The only restrictions are that he flies with me and that there is a seat available. So as you can gather with my opening statement, Grant is my free travel companion.
With Ben touring Europe with his classmates last weekend and Grant and I looking at our activity free weekend in Omaha, we decided to capitalize on our travel opportunity and go on an adventure. Phoenix was our choice...warm, sunny and plenty of family. We boarded the plane with no specific plan other than some good company with people we love and came home with a weekend adventure that exceeded expectations.
As I reflect on my weekend with my eleven year old, I am reminded of the "Grantisms" that I love the most. So often during the course of our daily parenting, we are constantly looking for ways to improve our kids. It's our role to teach and set an example, so the byproduct many times is spending more time reminding them of their flaws than counting our blessings for their many strengths. So as I sat next to Grant on our flight home with a smile and a head full of memories of a great weekend, it took no time to write down ten things that I love about Grant Lane (and were so obvious during the three days we spent together).
- Sense of adventure - As we went to retrieve our rental car, Grant begs me, "Please, Mom...no mini-van!" I tease him that I am going for a PT Cruiser (which I actually got as a rental in Vegas once...true story). I quickly am apprised that there was an abundance of convertible Camaros, of which I could upgrade (Manager's Special :)) for a total of $30 for the weekend. Sold! Grant missed the conversation as he waited in the seating area. He immediately wanted to know what car we were assigned and I proceeded to tease him on undesirable options all the way to the garage. The look on his face when he saw our muscle car was priceless. Regardless of having his mom in the driver seat and not having a clue where this car was going to take us, Grant was ready and excited for our forthcoming adventure...no questions asked. Cruising with our top down in the cool Camaro all weekend was the highlight of our trip. It didn't matter where we went or how chilly it got, he and I were on an open air, fast car adventure over the Phoenix byways.
- Love of family - Grant loves to spend time with family. Watching him interact and enjoy the company and comfort of our extended family is heartwarming. He understands the gift of this tight circle and is grateful for the many cousins, aunts, and uncles he has.
- Small things bring great pleasure - It doesn't take much to make Grant happy. Past the car and family, he so enjoyed our random outings. Highlights included eating at PeiWei. This Asian restaurant, a step up from Panda Express, had been talked about by a friend of Grant's. "You have to try it, Grant." So when we asked Grant what he wanted to do for the weekend, at the top of the list was to eat at PeiWei. A second outing that had Grant's captive attention was getting specially fitted for running shoes at the Road Runner Sports store in Scottsdale. As I was checking out their new line of Asics on the wall, I eyed Grant on a treadmill with a personal fitter. Ten minutes and a video/graphical analysis of his shoe later, Grant is enjoying every minute of hearing of his unique instep and run pattern.
- Great manners - Is there anything better as a parent then to hear your child use their please's and thank-you's continuously and unprompted? From politely asking for his drink on the plane to thanking the cook of the meal on the table, Grant is very generous with his gratitude.
- Interacts well with adults - Grant spent not a minute of our trip with anyone under the age of 25. We were with adults the entire time and he never tired of this interaction. Grant is a child who has no problem communicating and interacting with those many years older than him. This is not a trait many kids are comfortable with, but one that Grant excels at.
- Doesn't get bored...looks for his own fun - Not once did I hear "Mom, I'm bored" or "What are we going to do?". Within all of the adult conversations and adult lally-gagging, Grant just went with the flow. At Aunt Barbara's, he asked if he could draw and then checked out her expansive backyard on his own. As I was chatting and catching up with Judi and Larry, Grant asked if he could go in their hot tub. And that he did (and asked if he could have his book to read while soaking :))
- He loves shoes! - Enough said!
- "I like long flights" - No complaints about the flights other than my rule-abiding son not thinking his mother turned off her cell phone soon enough at take off or put up her tray table early enough at landing. I do appreciate his ability to interact well with the people around us, communicate directly with the flight attendants, and NEVER ask how long until we are home.
- He likes to read - I very much love this about Grant. We didn't even make it on to our connecting flight in Denver without buying "The Hunger Games" book with a plan to have it finished before the movie is released later this month. A child who enjoys reading really is a child who is never bored.
- Not embarrassed to still be a kid - Being in Junior High usually comes with obsolete childhood fancies. This is not (yet) the case with Grant. Not only did we spend a good hour at the flea market with Grant trying on every authentic Mexican wrestling mask (and he knew the name of every character), but he had no problem later wearing the mask in our convertible. The zoo was his desired destination for that Sunday afternoon. And a child who has not outgrown the zoo does warm this mother's heart. Stefano and I had as much fun as Grant checking out all that the Phoenix Zoo had to offer.