When I was growing up, there were things that you could count on when you were visiting grandparents. My mom’s dad always took us fishing! With cane poles hanging out the windows, we got in his white Chevrolet Bel Air, and off we would go. I was not a fan of worms, so Granddad Hill showed us how to make bread balls, and the fish loved them. We would attached red-and-white bobbing corks to the line, so we could see when we got a bite and would attempt to snag the fish. We would bring our catch home, and then mom would cook them. Later she confessed she bought fish sticks and passed them off as our catch, but we were so young we didn’t know the difference. What we do remember is the outing with all our cousins to the lake to fish.
When we got cleaned up and had dinner, Granddad always had an old-fashioned ice cream churn on hand with the homemade vanilla ice cream mixture ready to freeze. After dinner we took turns cranking the handle until the ice cream was frozen. We thought that was so much fun!
These are precious memories from trips to the grandparents. My grands today always expect certain things at our home. We tape old Gunsmoke movies for our grandson, and we have a movie marathon until late in the evening. It’s just tradition! Pajamas, movies, and popcorn.
Both of our grandkids know that when they come over, cookie baking is the order of the day. They know where everything is in the kitchen and begin pulling out the step stool so they can reach the counter. Today they are tall enough to reach, and the cookie tradition continues. When they were little, slice-and-bake would do the trick; now, the recipes have advanced a bit!
Things that kids remember today are the same things we remember from our childhood—time spent with grandparents doing what they enjoy. Activities become tradition when you realize how much fun it is to be together, and it just evolves into habit.