Sunday, April 4, 2010

Mana e mano with my 5-year-old grandson, Jason

After spending five days with my grandson mana e mano this week, I'm coming away enlightened and enthused about future opportunties to have him for a visit. This was the first time I've been available for more than weekend, so I was curious to see how it would go, how tired I'd be and how much money I might spend. It went great, I was tired and the expense, while a factor, turned out not to be too much of a challenge. Research shows that women are more likely to give money to children and grandchildren and spend money on their families than their male counterparts. That's because we were taught early to think about others and we like creating good memories now, rather than later. Be that as it may, when my grandson arrived for his weeklong stay we made a calendar of activities, so he had things to look forward to. OMSI, Portland's science and technology museum and the Portland Zoo were on the list.  However, his greatest desire was to ride the OHSU Tram from the waterfront up to "pill hill" and back. That turned out to be the least expensive and most intereest day of our week. The tram ride costs $4 for adults. Kids under six are free. The tram up and back took about 30 minutes, the views were great and Jason really liked looking at how the tram worked....its cables, cable wheels, doors and the loading area. Once back on solid ground, we hopped on one of Portland's downtown street cars, which Jason called a "streetcart." That ride lasted longer as we cruised by the park blocks and into the Pearl District inside the city's free zone, which meant (you've got it) the ride was free.
The next day's expedition to OMSI was a bit more expensive with a $9 admission for youths and seniors, 63 and older, plus lunch at the OSMI cafe for $16. But it was four hours of continuous exploration and activity and more to do than could possibly be accomplished in one day.
According to Barbara Sheme, writing at, children respond to the attention an adult gives them in whatever form. "Grandparents can build lasting memories with their grandkids by doing the simple things to create quality time talking, looking, thinking, doing and laughing together," she said. All I know is that Jason and I were together this week in ways that allowed us to get to know each other better. There were no parents to distract him, no playmates but me. The tram ride was definitely the highlight, but shopping at WinCo, riding around in my pickup and reading nighttime stories together all felt good to me. In late afternoon, I did feel tired from the talking and the doing, but I'm definitely looking forward to another week, maybe in the summer when we can dig in the garden. We're saving the zoo for another time, also when the weather improves.
For Web sites offering information and ideas about grandparenting, see below.
Cheap ways to entertain
Inexpensive ways to entertain kids at
Low cost, no cost ideas for guests and children.
Simple ways to entertain grandchildren.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I found you. I got bounce backs from your e-mail. I'd love to get together. Let me know when you're available.

    Jon Nelson