Oh, yes we did: Bracelets with boys

This past weekend, Jim and I kicked off fall with a quick visit to see our grandsons in the desert, as I’d mentioned here was on the calendar. During the visit, I did indeed make bracelets with the boys, just as Declan had requested.

Completed paracord bracelets from left: Camden’s, Brayden’s, Declan’s

Thing is, despite his enthusiasm upon seeing the paracord bracelet kit I’d brought in my Grandma Bag, Declan bowed out of the bracelet making in mere minutes. Which worked out for the best as bracelet-making was quite a feat for a five-year-old. Well, a feat for this grandma — who’s 10 times that and more — as well.

Thank heavens Brayden and Camden were troopers who graciously forgave Gramma for the bracelet-making bloopers along the way. Because, I must admit, I didn’t find the time to make a practice bracelet beforehand as I told myself I would, and my inexperience showed.

The activity started off strong, with the boys choosing the colors they wanted for their bracelets and me measuring and cutting on command. And therein lies the humongous blooper on my part: I measured … once. Then cut … ultimately twice, as I didn’t heed the sage DIY advice of measure twice, cut once.

And I didn’t notice my amateurish oops til too late.

Like I said, we started off strong. I first (not so easily) got the darn paracords on the darn clasps for each kiddo. After some trial and error knotting and unknotting, Brayden on the right of me was soon moving along with our left over right and under, under and through; right under left and over, over and through chant…

gramma helps b.JPG

Camden did the same on my left …

And between “Is this right?” consultations with both, I worked on Declan’s — who initially sat in front of me and watched what seemed to him nothing but a tangled mess then promptly booked to play with PawDad.

We were moving right along, pleased with our progress. Then Camden peeped up.

“I’m gonna run out of cord,” he groaned.

“Oh, you are not,” I groaned back.

“I’m gonna run out, too,” Brayden said.

I looked to the left at Cam’s, looked to the right at Brayden’s, examined Declan’s knotted chain before me … and realized they were right. And that I had been so very wrong in my measurements.

Or, more accurately, my cutting. See, the cords each needed to be 7 feet long. Because my measuring tape was only 6 feet long, I told the boys I’d simply measure 3.5 feet then double it.

Then promptly forgot to double.


Fortunately I’d prefaced the activity by telling the boys they’d need to have patience with Gramma, whose noggin’ ain’t so nimble lately (due to my MS, which I didn’t tell them as I don’t want to be that grandma). Patient they were! Cam went to shoot some hoops, Brayden pitched in pulling apart all three bracelets then helping me correctly measure more cord for all three.

Soon we were off and knotting again, chanting under our breath left over right and under, under and through; right under left and over, over and through.

We quickly reached the desired length, I took over the final attach-the-clasp step for Camden and Brayden (which was not as easy as the not-so-great photo instructions made it seem!), then hustled to finish up Declan’s — who was oblivious to there ever being an issue!

When all was said and knotted and done, all three boys were delighted with the results.


Gramma Bungled this shot of cutie-pie declan, too! Grrr…!


They were so delighted, in fact, they asked to do more. As our time together was running short, I fortunately, I mean, unfortunately had to bow out of Bracelet Making Round Two. But I offered to leave them supplies and instructions to make more bracelets on their own, promising to help via FaceTime if they need me.

As I measured out paracord and gathered together clasps for their bracelet-making in my absence, Camden stood by, watching me (to ensure Gramma did it right this time, I’m certain).

“That was sooo much fun, Gramma!” he said with such sincerity I first thought it was sarcasm. He assured me he meant it, and his enthusiastic exclamation made it all worthwhile.

As did catching Brayden absentmindedly whispering left over right and under, under and through; right under left and over, over and through to himself later that afternoon.

We chuckled when he noticed me watching him. “That’s something I’ll never forget now,” he said with a grin.

“I certainly won’t either,” I confirmed, letting him think I meant the chant.

Truth be told, the correct over-under-through of the chant is fading fast. For me, it’s the memory of an unexpectedly precious activity with my patient and gracious bracelet-making grandsons that’s guaranteed to last.