Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Whirlwind Week

Had a wonderful, whirlwind week with the grandkids in the Dallas area that left me thoroughly whipped. I am amazed at the schedule their family keeps.

We went pretty much non-stop from my arrival Wednesday afternoon til my departure Tuesday morning. Water park, swimming pool (only a minor sunburn – me, not them), Legoland, SeaLife Aquarium, toy shopping, a movie, dance practice, theatre practice, acting auditions for films …

And Molly.
Molly is the newest addition to the Bell household. A Jack Russell Terrier who is little larger than the palm of my hand but is all energy. She moves so quickly we have to shuffle rather than walk, lest she scoot underfoot in between the time we lift and step. Right now she’s a chewer – dog toys, kid toys, sneaker laces, pant legs, carpet, grass … anything she can fit in her curious mouth. I started calling her ‘Air Dog’ because my 5-year-old granddaughter, Georgia, continuously picked the pup up and carried her everywhere. By Monday I was leaning to changing her moniker to ‘Poop Dog’ because she has a penchant for finding a place to hide to do her business. (One thing I had not planned on my visit was crawling under the dining room table to wipe up a juicy stool from the scraped hardware floor.)

When the dog arrived Saturday, I was supplanted as the object of the kiddos’ attention, which was fine because it gave me time to get some work done on a couple of projects. By Monday, though, the newness of the puppy had worn off and they settled into a more normal routine of video games, dog, coloring books, dog, a little Papa-time here and there, and dog.

The final night, unexpectedly, I got to see a bit more of almost-9-year-old Sawyer’s budding acting career. He got a call from his agent that a director wanted him to submit an audition tape for a film project being shot in South Carolina the end of this month. So my daughter Alicia, Sawyer and I rolled down to East Dallas to an in-house studio she had used before and was able to book on last-minute notice. She needed to get the audition shot that night because she herself was getting on a plane the next day for a short business trip. (Told you they have a frenetic schedule.) Even though it was late at night, Sawyer was awesome in learning his lines, the emotions of the character, and taking direction through multiple experimental takes. Kid’s a real professional, and he’s already done 3 or 4 films, some television, a bunch of lead roles in community theatre. I’ve told him he’ll be a one-name superstar like Elvis or Cher: when people say, ‘Sawyer,’ everyone will know it’s him. He’s actually got a kind of Huck Finn / Tom Sawyer grin that fits his name. (His website is

I’m glad my work affords me the opportunity to visit the kiddos from time to time. Not all grandparents have that enjoyment. Of course, we skype too, and they think they’re on camera with the iPad video so they ham it up whenever we talk.

When they get a little older, we look forward to them visiting Europe – great fun and great education in seeing a part of the world that is not flat, hot, auto-driven Dallas.

Glad I went, glad to be back.
Swimming with the jellyfish at SeaLife Aquarium.

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