Second Chances

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Six years ago, I was just another 50-something empty nester, striking out on some kind of adventure most weekends — and patiently waiting for my two adult children to provide me with a couple of grandkids to spoil. Today, I am the mother of a six-year-old daughter, attending first grade open houses, sitting through gymnastics classes, watching Little Mermaid on Friday nights, and helping with 2 + 2 homework.

What happened? Well, that is a story for another time. But what is happening now is fun and exciting and something I would never have imagined for myself. It’s not often that you get a second chance at something — a real second chance. But that is what has happened to me.

Traveling and writing about it is something that I have been doing for a long time; but these past six years, I’ve been doing it with a small child in tow. Since she was a toddler, Brianna has experienced gallery openings, symphony concerts, plays, hikes, state parks, museums, and more. Whether it was for work or for pleasure, I have never hesitated about packing her up and bringing her along to any destination.

Toddler Brianna and Betsy packed up and ready to travel.

Toddler Brianna and Betsy packed up and ready to travel.

Brianna has been inquisitive about and interested in visiting the places I explored; and here is where the second chance comes in, I have been enthusiastic about re-visiting the typical attractions a small child enjoys. I have been back to Zoo Atlanta, amusement parks, petting farms, Uncle Bob’s Pumpkin Patch, and a whole host of places I may never have ventured to again. I have gotten a second chance to euphorically glide up and over treetops from the seat of a Ferris wheel, to sit on my knees in the sand digging moats and turrets, and to feel a child’s moist hand in mine as she timidly touches a quivering bunny. Sure, you can do the same things with a grandchild, but, eventually, you have to take a grandchild back home. With a child of your own, you can play all the time!

With a six year old, I have a reason and a built-in excuse to do numerous, joyous things and a certain wisdom about the lightning flash passage of time that comes from this new perspective. So, here’s to hands up and screaming at the top of a roller coaster, Saturday night ice cream, and New Year’s Eve at “Bedtime Stories.” Here’s to “older” parents, grandparents, and the 20- or 30-something parents who sit next to me at Crabapple Lane Elementary School functions. This blog is dedicated to all of these.

Brianna and her mommy at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco last summer.

Brianna and her mommy at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco last summer.

With Brianna by my side, I’ll be visiting places, mostly in Fayette County and the Metro Atlanta area, for the “second” time as well as destinations that are new to both of us. And I’ll write about it. I’ll write about the events, attractions and places Brianna and I have explored in the past, plan to visit tomorrow, or are enjoying today. I hope you’ll join us on our adventures!

See more of Sherri’s adventures on Browns Guide to Georgia.

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