Sandy Turner: It’s a labor of love

The Examiner

I started dropping subtle hints as soon as they were married. My daughters were never surprised to find pregnancy tests in their Christmas stockings.

They took their sweet time making me a grandma, but it couldn’t have worked out more perfectly. Having sons, just three months apart, means I now have seven-year-old grandsons who are the perfect playmates for each other, as well as for me.

I look for anything positive this pandemic brings to the table, and the relationship built between these two are a perfect example. My daughters took turns having sleepovers, every week, to give each other a break from the daily grind quarantine provides to us all. The boys have become best friends, and I believe they always will be. They have agreed to disagree, on most everything, and found a way to accommodate each other's idea of what having fun consists of.

This past weekend the boys spent the night, and as different as their mothers are, the boys follow suit. Hank is the fishing/hunting/stomp-in-the-dirt kid while Gavin prefers to be more scientific and analytic, and he gets upset if you kill an insect.

While Papa and Hank did some fishing, Gavin and I drove the acreage in the golf cart. Both boys have become quite the driver and like to enhance their skills anytime they can in preparation for the real thing. Gavin spotted a humongous turtle making its way to the pond, which Papa wasn’t happy about, since they eat the baby fish spring had sprung.

Over the next several hours, and numerous presentations of fish being caught, something had to be done with the turtle that was slowly making its way to the pond. Hank was in favor of making turtle soup while Gavin was adamant the turtle mustn’t be harmed.

Eventually Papa said to just let it be, as it was getting dark and time to get cleaned up. The boys begged for one more golf cart ride, and since Hank had been fishing he was given the chance to do one lap around the acreage before we called it a night.

Just as we got close to the pond I saw the turtle, but it was too late. Hank accidentally ran over it and all I could see was the turtle's neck under the front tire and the look of horror on Gavin's face.

“Well at least Papa won’t have to worry about that turtle,” Hank said as we all turned around to see the turtle laying on its back. Gavin put his head in his hands as we drove to the house to tell Papa the news.

“That golf cart isn’t going to kill a turtle that size,” Papa said and before he could get the last word out we were headed back to the pond to find out. Sure enough the turtle was nowhere to be found, and both boys let out a sigh of relief.

This weekend we have the 3-, 4- and 5-year-old granddaughters. Fishing, turtles and frogs will be replaced with makeup, nail polish and fashion shows.

This Labor Day I celebrate my job as Gigi. My work is never done, thank goodness.  

Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at

Sandy Turner