Wednesday, September 4, 2013

More Grandparents! More Fun!

Kai has really enjoyed having his grandfather from Japan with us these past few weeks. This weekend, we all drove up to visit his grandparents in Michigan. And if he was happy with just one grandparent around, he was in heaven getting showered with love from three grandparents.

We arrived on Saturday at lunchtime, and after lunch we got started on all the activities that he wanted to do.

First, we went to a pick-your-own orchard. A man there was slicing up samples of different varieties of peaches that were ready for picking. Kai went right up front for his slice. But the man gave it to Mom instead.

“Ladies first.”

Kai took it right in stride. “Oh yeah. I forgot.” And then he got his sample.

After tasting the samples, we knew which peaches we wanted to pick. The peaches here were all giant-sized, and Kai found a lot of good ones.

After the peach picking, we did one of Kai’s favorite summer activities, going to the beach.

After dinner, we walked down the block to watch the sun set over Lake Michigan. Sometimes it is difficult to get Kai to go for a walk, but this time he went eagerly. His grandfather had one of those devices that counts steps, so Kai was motivated to help Papa reach his goal of 10,000 steps for the day.

And we were rewarded when the sun peeked out below the clouds just as it was setting.

The next morning, we went to the local Rotary Club’s pancake breakfast. Kai was in a bad mood when he realized that we left the iPad back at the house and I refused to turn around to get it. But when he had his pancakes, his forgot about the iPad, and he cleaned his plate before I thought of taking a picture.

Next we drove down to the town of St. Joseph. They have a large old carousel, and Kai said he wanted to ride. He never wants to ride on the horses that move up and down while they go round and round. Instead, he always picks a seat on the bench. I don’t really see the point of sitting on a bench when you’re riding a merry go round. And at nine years old, perhaps he should get over his fear of riding the moving horses. But, I didn’t see that as a battle worth fighting, and he enjoyed his ride.

We then walked over to the fountain park where you can run and splash to your delight. He and I enjoyed it for a good long time.

After all the splashing, we went to lunch. The pizza was good but Kai’s favorite part was showing Bubbe how to play a game she had allowed him to download on her iPhone.

You would think that the morning at the fountains would have satiated Kai’s desire to splash, but in the afternoon we went to the beach again.

And after dinner we walked down to see the sunset again, though this time the sun stayed behind the clouds.

The next morning, we drove up to the town of Holland to see the unusual lighthouse.

And then capped off our activities with a round of miniature golf.

All of these photos do an adequate job of showing you the activities we did. But they don’t really convey the essence of the weekend.

When Kai was much younger, I wondered if his grandparents would ever truly enjoy spending time with him. Oh sure, they loved him. And so they spent time with him as good grandparents would. But, I’m not talking about that.

I mean really enjoy spending time with him just because it was fun.

The way it was with their other grandchildren.

The ones who are into sports or art or other activities the way most kids are.

When Kai was hardly speaking, and not interested in any of the things the rest of us are, I think perhaps only a generous grandparent would say they had a lot of fun when they spent time with him.

Nowadays, well, he’s still not really interested in most things the rest of us are, but with his chatty, outgoing personality, with his exuberance for life, with his (usually) very sweet disposition, he really is a lot of fun to be with. And I saw that in his grandparents.

They laughed and talked with him and had a great time.

And, of course, he so did he.

And that made for a truly wonderful weekend for all of us.


  1. Wow...that is just so wonderful! I'm glad he had a great time, which allowed all of you to enjoy the weekend, too! You certainly packed a lot of great activities into a few days!

    1. When Kai has fun, we all do. It was a really nice weekend!

  2. I especially liked your last paragraph. Kai loving life is probably the greatest thing for you as parents. It is a testament to the love he gets at home. NICE sunset photos! Absolutely beautiful!

    1. He is a kid with strong emotions... when things are not going well, it makes it difficult for us, but when he is happy, well, that is an awesome thing.

      Regarding the sunset... coming from a sunset connoisseur such as yourself, that is quite a compliment. :)

  3. This was such a wonderful post to read
    Yuji in this and your last few posts, I am seeing a huge amount of maturity coming in your child
    You must be so proud to see the fruits of your effort pay off so well

    1. Thanks, K. The progress has not been linear, but we do realize that he has made a lot of progress. And we're very happy about that, but still feel like we're constantly working to keep moving forward.


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