Monday, May 07, 2007

Parents' Visit - May

Another month brings another visit from my parents. Idiosyncratic as they are, they are always welcome here, invitation or not. As a matter of fact, I would prefer for them to move down here altogether and not because they'd make a babysitting search unnecessary.

How cool would it be to live close enough to them to have a weekly family gathering like the one we had last weekend? Ok-ok, so maybe a whole weekend would be too much, but 2-3 hours on a nice spring Sunday afternoon would be perfect. Plus they'd provide a much-needed Russian-speaking environment to develop Mark's bilingualism. Of course, Chris and I won't be without benefits - a child-free date once a week would be almost guaranteed.

So I spend better part of each visit enticing them to move. I casually flip through the Real Estate and Job Classifieds sections of our local News&Observer. I take Mom on long walks in the neighborhood carefully planned to showcase our most picturesque front yards and the houses with vegetable gardens in the back. I talk to Dad about beautiful weather in the mountains. And of course, I even had a perfect location picked out for their future move - a small house in one of the newer developments. It'd be small and new enough for the two of them to maintain. It would have a small yard for Mom's tomatoes. And it would be in a community with all the wonderful amenities such as a golf course and a swimming pool.

But for now, they are still residents of Rockland County, NY. And they try their hardest to make it here for a day or two about once a month. This time they arrived on Saturday afternoon. I had my digital camera fully charged - Mom is a total shutterbug when it comes to taking pictures of Mark or neighborhood flowers. As usual, Dad felt very nervous at first about holding Mark. He would freak out every time Mark would even attempt to cry. But quickly enough things settled down - Mark got used to his grandparents, they got used to his kvetching, Xander got his share of attention (finally), Mom started taking over the kitchen, and Dad - taking over Chris' laptop.

On Sunday, Mom and I went to the JC Raulston Arboretum. I'd never been there before even though it's just minutes away from the house. It's a wonderful place - small enough to not feel rushed or overwhelmed and loaded with various plants and theme gardens. After a short stay there Mark got hungry and cranky and we went back home. In the evening, I cooked my gourmet meal (see one of the posts) and we all spent the rest of the day taking turns holding Mark and taking his pictures (he must've felt like a big celebrity).