Lessons from the Grandsons ~ Jacquolyn McMurray

Three story treehouse.
I’m a little late with my blog post this month for the best possible reason--our daughter and two grandsons are visiting. Due to the pandemic, I have not seen their family as often as usual, so I'm trying to maximize my time with them. And since they flew to Hawai'i from Washington state, we are all quarantined on the farm for fourteen days.

The extended time in isolation has brought an amazing opportunity for hubby and I to get out of our comfortable routines and experience the benefits of organizing our days around an almost eight-year-old and almost four-year-old.

Here's ten lessons I've learned from changing my routine during our grandsons' visit:

1) Since the boys change out of their pajamas before breakfast, I follow suit and don't lounge in my jammies half the morning. It gets me outdoors earlier in the day.

2) No willy-nilly, eat breakfast whenever I please. The boys are hungry soon after getting up, so I eat with them. The benefit? I tend to drink less coffee when I eat breakfast earlier.

3) On our walks around the farm, the boys point out geckos, daddy longlegs, and spiders. They notice the sounds of the mourning doves and the mating call of the coqui frogs. Their awareness heightens my awareness of my natural environment.

Female Jackson chameleon on tree bark.
The not quite four-year-old spotted this female Jackson chameleon from four feet away!

Early reader

4) We read together every day. Both boys love silly books and we spend a lot of time discussing the stories and repeating the funny lines. What a health benefit to laugh every day!

Words and pictures by Mo Willems.

5) An evening outdoors to roast marshmallows for s’mores, coupled with the boys' excitement when they spot the first visible star in the sky, reminds me to be grateful we live in a place where stars are visible.

6) Although not aerobic, I’m getting in my steps while doing the chores with the boys, climbing up to the third story of the treehouse Grandpa constructed for their visit, and playing croquet. I'm using muscles I've not used in a while and feeling the benefits of not sitting so much.

7) I have not watched TV during the visit. Instead, I’m choosing  to play games with the boys. In the last week I’ve learned how to play Mancala, exercised my aging brain with Memory cards, and taught the almost four-year-old a new board game.

8) A snack in the afternoon is like a little tea party. Instead of eating at my desk in front of my computer, I sit with the boys, enjoy their silliness, and take a real break.

9) An art table takes up most of one wall in the dining room and we’ve converted the living room into a playroom. I can't remember the last time I rearranged furniture. Interesting how adding a table to a room or moving a rocking chair gives the area a new look and feel.

10) One of my favorite parts of the visit is the opportunity to hear the boys' language development. The not quite eight-year-old loves to try out long scientific words and the not quite four-year-old is in the stage where nouns get turned into verbs indicating some sense of word usage. He uses words like crayoning and scissoring to describe his work at the art table.

We are only half way through our grandsons' visit. I can't wait to see what the next ten days bring.


  1. I'm so happy you are finally getting quality time with your boys! I was just saying to Ralph last night that I had a craving for S'mores. Enjoy your time!

    1. I love watching their antics and seeing how much they've changed just since December. Next adventure when we get a clear night is to camp out in the bus.

  2. Oh my dear, you are so going to miss them when they are gone! The love just streams out of every word. And they are so lucky to have you...your awareness of their language development tickled me...you must be a writer! (Grin)

    1. I will miss them. At this point, I hope for a trip to Washington at Thanksgiving time for an extended visit.

  3. What awesome lessons you're learning! Enjoy the rest of your visit.

  4. No doubt about it, there are some very special memories being made for You and your Grandsons.

    1. For sure. And lots of photos to look at later.


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