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Friday, 30 December 2011


Each county in the UK is very much like each state in the USA; for example, the food and the language and even the outlook on life varies. We're up in South Yorkshire (SO different from North Yorkshire) and my husband- aka Grandad- is out back helping his grandson sort out/repair the go kart they made on our last visit (or two, this seems to be an on going project). GS (Grandson) is a delight to listen to, with his Yorkshire accent ( love to hear him say "huney" as in "Winnie the Pooh honey".

This morning at breakfast we have been talking about GS's first visit to America this coming April. It reminded me of the years of preparing children to relocate from the UK to the USA and vice versa when I was director of Childtrack International. It's just as much fun now as it was then, and I am thinking of ways to help this delightful eight year old enjoy his brief visit. Global granparenting means introducing fun in various languages ( Russina, Italian, American English-mostly southern, British English-north and south versions in our family) and brings the introduction of "other ways of doing things" quite early on in life. GS's half English/half Italian cousin is growing up bi-lingual, but even bi-dialectual children have their challenges.

While I am thinking about sticking up British and American coins on the fridge, and introducing the biscuits vs cookies choices, Grandad is thinking up places to take GS and parents (his daugher and her husband) who have also never travelled to America. The family is clear they want to see normal family life on the Gulf of Mexico, so dropping them off at Disney (my student job was the Orlando Disney World) isn't going to work.

GD believes he will start with a bicycle for GS, while leaving the parents to relax on the lanai (Florida word for screened in back porch)- and that means starting with finding a bicycle that fits GS and a helmet to match. One lap around the neighbourhood lake and then off they go to the Inland Waterway of Sarasota county!

Still, that's months away and just outside on a cold Yorkshire December morning, "the lads" are working on the go-kart.

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