My daughter’s Brooklyn neighborhood is swarming with grandparents this week. On the sidewalks and playgrounds and parks, in the libraries and coffee shops and museums, gray-haired out-of-towners push strollers and hurry to keep up with scooters. We lug cotton bags with sippy cups and snack-keepers, with fruit gummies and pirate booty and goldfish (these, at least, I recognize) – all of us thrilled to hang out with our grandchildren during April vacation. Much of the experience is expected: the pleasures and delights of the barely-remembered rhythms of a small child’s day, the challenge of getting down on the floor to do puzzles and build Lego palaces, and then get up again. The exhaustion at the end of the day.
The biggest surprise for me this week has been play-dates. We didn’t use that term when my daughters were little, but of course the activity is familiar. The twist is that many of the playdates are shared by little kids and their grandparents. AND an added delight that these Brooklyn preschoolers are amusingly creative when it comes to their names for said grandparents.
Yesterday, my granddaughter Josie and I hung out with her BFF and her “Gabby” and “Keepa.” Today it was another friend and her “Gaga.” And I should mention that Josie calls me “Meema” and her grandfather “Peepa.”
All these grandparents, and so far not a "Grandma" or "Grandpa" in sight.