Double Trouble

Recently, our daughter moved from Texas to Utah.  We were crushed that she planned to take our only grandchildren, 2-year-old twins with her. Out of appreciation for our years of dedicated service as parents, we expected our grown Rugrat would always stay close so we can see her Rugrats grow up. How could she trade the best grandparents ever and the flatlands of Texas for majestic mountains, dry heat, and endless outdoor activities?  

As we pined away for the precious pups, we were thrilled when our daughter asked us to tend the twins for three days while she moved into a new home.  In a snap, we booked flights, rented an SUV, car seats, and a VRBO close to a park. We made grand plans to visit the zoo, the aquarium, playgrounds, and waterparks. By the end of the visit, our diapered divas would be begging for Mimi and Papa to stay forever. 

On the plane to Salt Lake City, I browsed through Zillow listings for small condos in the area. Surely my husband, the pleaser, would gladly work a few more years so that we could buy a third home to share the same zip code with our 529 account beneficiaries. 

The visit, in a word, was exhausting. We had never babysat this dynamic duo for more than one night, and three nights was two, too many. We were beat. Feeding, changing, playing, and entertaining were never ending. I began to pray for naptime so we could get a break. How did we survive raising our own kids and working full time so many years ago? I counted down the hours until we returned our bubbly babies. I was glad I hadn’t mentioned the Zillow search. 

Three days felt like a lifetime with our granddaughters. Yet, when it came time to drop them off, my emotions swung like a pendulum. I found myself missing them before we had even taken them out of their car seats.  Like a video, my mind replayed the scenes of them pointing at “shocks” (sharks) at the aquarium, squealing with laughter as we chased them through the park, and imitating the roar of the lions at the zoo. 

On the flight home, I once again found myself searching Salt Lake City real estate on Zillow. 

Michele Valdez

Michele Valdez, a slightly compulsive, mildly angry feminist, has been an attorney, volunteer, and The Mad Housewife columnist. She has four demanding adult children and a patient husband.

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