If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Grandchildren Days

When I was a footloose and fancy-free single woman gadding about day and night, painting the town red, living it up, sowing my wild oats, coming and going at all hours, not accountable to anybody...  Well, I don't know when or even who that was, but doesn't that seem like what a fortyish woman whose children are grown and gone from her nest would be doing?  In actuality, when I was a plodding work-day-in-and-day-out single woman trying to get through, my daughter graced me with a granddaughter.  Yes, I had reservations about becoming a grandmother, just see Grandchildren if you don't believe me.  Somehow all of that falls by the wayside when the little cherubs take residence in your heart. 

Soon, Lillie and I implemented our 'Days.'  This is a time when Grand B is not in school and Lillie comes to stay with me for "some days."  It gives her a chance to get away from that ogre-of-a-mother she has and we can play and sleep late and watch movies till late and eat popcorn and just have fun without restrictions.  It has become a tradition that she absolutely loves and so do I.   

Well, this past week I set aside some time for the granddaughters. 

On Tuesday afternoon I got to spend time with these two.

This is a shot Mike made with his phone and I just love it. 

They arrived sometime around noon.  Shortly after they got here we made some cards to send Mike's great nephew. (EEEK!  Doesn't that make my hubby sound old?)  It seems that Jaymie was off at camp for the week and we thought we would send him some mail.  I got out stamps, stamp pads, card stock, and crayons and we were really creative.  I just love working with the stamps and making cards and sometimes just pull that stuff out and be creative.  I could do it for hours.  Somehow it isn't as intriguing for a three-year-old and a two-year-old.  After a couple of taps to the card stock, they were ready to move on.  I think it is because their creative juices are just beginning to rise to the top and they are more uninhibited and less of a perfectionist than me.  At any rate, the crayons went to good use and our cards turned out delightful!  Everyone was pleased and it was hard to send them off because the girls mostly wanted to hang them on the fridge to admire.

Next we baked a few cookies.  Instead of mixing and rolling and sugaring and all that intensive labor this time - we had done that before and I was truly exhausted - I had bought dough from a student for some school fund-raiser.  So, all we had to do is plunk down the little frozen chunk onto the cookie sheet and slide it into the oven.  Much quicker satisfaction and little girls are all about instant gratification when it comes to cookies!  (Big ones like me are, too!)

Even though the temperature was in the high nineties, the little ladies wanted to go outside.  So, eventually I caved in and got the stroller out and we walked to the mailbox.  We made a little stop along the way back to visit with Mama' and Pop O - and to let Grand B cool off a bit.  Cassie and Evie never complained of the heat but I sure was wanting to whine - a lot!  We had time to come back in and nibble another cookie and cool off before Mike got home and we went back out to the barn for a romp with him and the kittens.

While we were out at the barn, the other two granddaughters arrived.  So, we had mass chaos of girls and kitties.  They fed the cats and dogs and ran and jumped and tried to catch every feline in sight - all twelve plus of them.  Soon, everybody was sweaty and we retired again to the house.  I needed to just flop in a chair but the girls were still up for romping and running and squealing and dancing. 

Soon, Lillie's ogre-of-a-mother decided that it was time to go home and she had to leave.  Right after Lillie's departure, Cassie and Evie's mother came to pick them up as well.  The good news is that Lydia got to stay to start off her summer 'Days.'  Since Lydia is a bit of a 'Mama's Girl' these days, I was worried that we would have tears or that she might not even feel confident enough to stay.  But, she waved and chirped, "Bye, Mama," and went right back to playing when Bridgette left.  We did eventually have a little uncertainty just before bedtime but as it turned out, Mike was really more worried about "the little thing" than Lydia was uncertain about staying the night.  After I read a book and we chatted a few minutes, we both settled in and soon she was snoring. 

The next morning I was greeted with a priceless moment.  By mid-day we were off on a shopping jaunt.  I have NEVER had a better shopping partner.  Lydia is one fabulous trooper.  She is also quite a wonderful companion on a long shopping trek.  We took in several stores.  I simply asked if she wanted to ride in the buggy or walk and let her make the choice.  She was wonderful about staying nearby, carefully selecting a few items to inspect and consider and ruminate over whether to purchase and most always chose to return it to the original shelf for somebody else to enjoy.  Her only splurges for the day were some new Snow White sunglasses and some bubble-gum-flavored lipstick.  Mickey and Minnie accompanied us and she was conscientious to hold their hands so they wouldn't get lost.  Never did she whine, never did she misbehave, never did she offer to wander off or cause a problem shopping.  We were in and out of several stores and didn't get home till around six o'clock and never did she become cross or miserable.  She dozed a wee bit on the way home and then was ready to do a little exploring.

Pink is the color of choice and all flowers deserve a smell!

It is a good thing she is a Disney fan because that power of association has taught her characters and colors as well.  Lydia's favorite character is Minnie and her favorite color is pink, "just like Minnie."  My red rain boots clomped around on her feet and I was told that they were "red like Mickey."  She picked purple flowers which were "like Daisy."  The added bonus of picking geranium blooms is that there is a shower of petals when she shakes the stem.

Look, pink "like Minnie" floating all around!

Lydia and Duchess exploring at the barn
(and you can almost see Mike's prized tomatoes in the background).

She and Lillie have named a yellow Mama cat (one of the few barn cats who is friendly) Duchess.  She and Duchess had long conversations and explored around the barn together.  Lydia was not quite confident enough to do more than a cursory swipe at petting her, but she frequently would stoop and have a little chat with Duchess. 

Splashing and adjusting the water levels.

Like all children, she loves to dabble in the water.  (I'm so glad I had scrubbed those water pans.)  She would transfer a few drops from one pan to the other.  I'm sure she was trying to make sure both held the same amount! 

I must say, that not only the dark brown eyes are like mine, she is also a flower lover, an outdoor girl, and an independent soul. 

Little fingers poking the petals through the holes to create a flutter toward the ground.

Contemplating nature.

Mike and I truly enjoyed her visit and are still chuckling about things she did which were just so darn cute.  I think that time with her all alone is something that we will all three cherish forever.  It gives each of us an insight into one another and builds a bond that cannot be fostered in any other way.  Mike and I had time to be children and giggle and act silly right along with Lydia.  She got the undivided attention she deserves from us.  We all could absorb the simple pleasures of life together in a relaxed and loving way.

So, summer, Grand B and the girls having 'some days' is under way.  I'm loving it!
I think Lydia did, too!