Oliver with tennis racket

Oliver is shown here watching his father’s tennis lesson. Oliver loves rackets and paddles — even holding them while he is sleeping!

We have grandchildren in Norway, Pennsylvania and Chile. During this pandemic, those whose lifestyles are most impacted are our grandchildren in Chile, Priscilla, 4, and Oliver, 2, children of our daughter Catherine and her husband Diego.

In Santiago Catherine and Diego have been experiencing months of working from home; sometimes, depending on how much travel is allowed, they have a nanny stay with them; but often Catherine and Diego divide the child care so that they can focus, individually, on their jobs.

Every time the government opens things up a little, Catherine and Diego and Priscilla and Oliver take advantage of outdoor opportunities. Sometimes they roam the hills and trails surrounding Santiago.

And sometimes Diego takes a private — socially distanced — tennis lesson. Oliver, who loves anything involving a ball, goes along, watching intently from his stroller. Like so many in his family, Oliver has developed a special love for tennis. One day Catherine and Diego found him sleeping — clutching tightly to his racket.

“He basically sleeps every day with some kind of racket,” Diego told me. “Ping-pong, tennis ... He is obsessed with them!”

Here are more stories from Santiago.

Oliver said to Catherine, “Mommy, I am your friend.” Catherine said, “No, Oliver, you are my son.” Oliver replied, “I’m your son. I’m your sonshine!” And they started to sing the “You are my sunshine” song that has been a favorite in our family for years ... “You are my sunshine ... you’ll never know dear how much I love you ...”

Catherine was roughhousing with Oliver and Priscilla and Oliver said he was a dragon. So Catherine started acting really scared and he said, “Mommy, don’t be scared. I’m a good dragon!”

Oliver loves to pretend to sneeze. So a conversation could begin, “I’m a prince ... sneeze ... a bad prince ... sneeze ... sneeze ...”

During a period when Santiago was partially open, the dentist told Priscilla that she needed more brushing on her gums. So Catherine started helping Priscilla to brush her teeth ... until Priscilla said, “Mommy don’t tickle my teeth like the dentist!”

Priscilla was pretending to be Pedro, the hairstylist. Priscilla told Oliver, “Now it’s your turn to get your hair done.” She began trying to convince Oliver to get his hair colored ... “Let’s just try green,” she said. Oliver said, “No, I’m too busy!”

Imagine being too busy for green hair!

Thank you for your letters, by U.S. mail and email. Your stories are cherished; by sharing your stories and photos through this column you can brighten the lives of many people. Please email me at ghousholder@kpcmedia.com or mail stories to me at 816 Mott St., Kendallville, IN 46755. Also, please share this column with friends and family — I hope they have stories to share, too!

GRACE HOUSHOLDER is a columnist and editorial writer for this newspaper. Contact her at ghousholder@kpcmedia.com.

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