We were not only going to a private wolf sanctuary, Aventuraid, but also to an animal wilderness park - Zoo sauvage de Saint-Félicien. The zoo was in a stunning boreal forest, and we looked forward to experiencing a camping, canoeing and hiking adventure.
British writer Virginia Ironside is determined to convince people that getting old is not so bad -- even for a Baby Boomer who interviewed the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix early in her career.
Grandma and Grandpa's house is a magical place for a grandchild. Having your yard certified as a wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation can increase the magical factor tenfold and more.
Great Wolf Lodge is not the place for grandparents to bemoan the days when we would pass a summer day with a stick and the sprinkler in the back yard. This venue will get you up to speed on the breakneck pace that childhood travels at these days.
"Once upon a time there was a baby called Marcia. Then she blinked her eyes, and she was 65."
Moving among wildlife and experiencing the outdoors are favorite vacation motivators for me, and knowing this adventure would be special, I invited my 12-year old granddaughter to accompany me to make for a cross-generational experience.
I have a man living in the house for the first time in 14 years. He laughs with me, tickles my toes, and likes my cleavage. I buy him books and music and we sing made-up songs together. I call him Lovey. It's the first nickname that came out of my mouth. He is my grandson. That makes me a grandma.
The faux grandkids have arrived. Actually, they're real grandkids. I'm the faux. Girl eight, boy six. Both cute. They are well-known for being pointers and diggers. They point at something and say, "What's behind there?" And if you say "Nothing", they know you're lying.
In the whole wide world -- which, as NASA has proven, is a whole lot wider than Pluto, a Disney character who can't hold a candle to "Sesame Street" star Elmo -- nothing is sweeter than my granddaughter, Chloe.
My grandmother grew up poor and without a mother, in a childhood that never rose from dreary. She then raised her own children in tough times, with only her tenacity to lean on. And though it may have taken her many years to get to high tea at the Plaza, or a steak dinner at Delmonico's, once seated, she didn't waste a moment once she'd gotten to that place in life where she was living it up.
My children have been blessed to know many of their great-grandparents. Such a blessing also means they have experienced the loss of five close relatives, with three passing away this year.
All the things I so often say to my daughter flashed into my mind, and they all had one thing in common. I wasn't focusing on making memories for my daughter -- I was obsessed with the future and constantly hurrying toward it. And why? I had this awesome, perfect present to enjoy.
I'm throwing caution to the wind and offering unsolicited advice to Rachel Toalson, author of a recent blog entitled, "Detoxing from the Grandparents Is Real. I Swear." I also suspect that other parents experience a similar phenomenon when kids come home from summer camp.