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Grandparents are awesome

Cole has been using the 4 (yes, 4) large boxes--sent by my mother ahead of her visit--as a fort all this week. We're down to 3 now, actually, because one of them is a gift for Leda that was taken to the basement for assembly. One of them is marked "fragile" but I'm hoping not-so-much because it's been loved a little hard.

Parents like grandparents, too. They watch the kids so you can go take a tour of the gym you're thinking about joining without having to drag the kids along. Nobody wants to wheel a stroller onto the pool deck or into the locker room or keep toddlers busy while discussing membership rates.

They give you a welcome excuse to finally use the extra passes that came with your zoo membership.

They babysit so you can go on a date night. (Mmmm, margaritas!)

If all this sounds spoiled, it maybe is a bit...but it's well-deserved. Most of the grandparents are a day's drive away. Visits are infrequent. It's nice to have them as special occasions. But we envy those of you who have family nearby and can pop over for dinner or drop the kids off every Friday for a couple hours of peace.

Perhaps one day we'll be so lucky. Until then, somebody is driving or flying, to or from, Minnesota or Ohio.

Chicago is centrally located, at least. But sometimes we'd rather trade centrally located for close and convenient.