|Mia, upper L; middle, lower R|
Sunday, April 1, 2012
There we were, chatting with old friends - about NOT commemorating birthdays - when they called. Our youngest daughter, Jennie, and her mate, working parents, involved citizens, go, go, and then some, have a sacred pact. It's called 'Sunday is ours - with the kids'. Refreshing, really. We always had pacts. Still do. They're in the 'we'll-get-to-it' room somewhere with all the other broken stuff. The call - more of an announcement, really - was to share the 'Saturday plan' which involved visiting at our house, 'early-ish', to celebrate my birthday. The one we preferred NOT to commemorate although, in truth, we'd had a lovely bash at their place last weekend. B-Day weekend. "Sounds great," I heard myself reply. BRAIN: Early-ish. They're up at 5 AM every day. It's Wednesday. If I go to sleep now, I can bank some deprivation.
(Last weekend, their kids, Emma, 4 and Charlie, 19 months, had grandly presented me with their labor-of-love, a travel-photo. Instant family: add one nail, any wall and, Ta-da! Hi Grams!
Charlie, Big Sis told
me, had worked very hard applying the stickers. As she identified the settings in the selected pics with her still-damp paint brush, Emma subtly let me know who had done - and LOVED doing - the heavy lifting. But Lord knows, it certainly warms your heart, especially when the years seem to be swiftly ebbing in the wrong direction.)
Our son's call, following on the hot speed dial of Jen's, was not as surprising as the little Leavys had been still in heated process re: Grams' present when they'd called on my special day with wishes and song. Philip was confirming a drop-by on Saturday, most likely apres la crosse engagements near our home. That would put their ETA in the PM hours which provided a dandy dovetail to the 'Emma and Charlie Show'.
There simply is no other way to describe these strange bedfellows - Emma all about the tedium of acclimating Mommy and Daddy to her latest persona - gypsy/flower child - which 3-piece, Southern banker Daddy was not anticipating and usually amusing/theatrical Mommy was reacting to with an 'attitude'. As if Emma didn't have enough on her little Dresden plate already.
Charlie, her polar opposite, is all about throwing - anything - hard - at anyone. In that his brand at the moment, headful of spun-yellow curls capping an always-at-the-ready-grin which comes with an array of dimples totally denying - ostensibly - any plans of derring-do, has his sitters all a-whisper about 'what-to-do-about-Charlie', can focus on his main agenda - eating. The continuity of this passion is impressive, but he toddles at mach speed so re-fueling needs are met in kind.
Philip's three - Declan, Molly and Patrick - are no less ebullient and active but they are older and, Mercury is beginning to surrender to Mars and - sometimes - Earth, as they evolve into the activities of the more mature, taller, dervish. I was told they were most excited about their 'creation' and particularly anxious to make their presentation.
It was therefore understandable, albeit no less daunting, when the call came shortly after ten AM announcing a final approach as the game had ended early. One-time fleet-of-foot Poppy, or The Recliner as you may recall him, had barely enough time to scoot to the bakery and snag the richest of decorated cup cakes for the festivities. This contribution, in his world, is called 'the preparation' for the kids' visit. What else might there be to do?
(The loud music and louder footfalls announced their arrival as Daddy tried to maneuver their eight passenger 'Sherman Tank' into a strategically-parked position - one that would allow for the elaborately-festooned creation to be extracted from the vehicle and carefully 'Philip-lifted' to our front door, truly an oxymoronic type of performance.
Joining the already full-swing, madcap, utterly delightful vision of five towheads in impish 'glee-mode', he successfully circumvented tumbling, spinning, giggling, oblivious bodies and made it to the table at the end of our sun room, where I sat smiling in greeting while mentally biting brain cells - the ole handy artificial face-with-grin at the ready. The final landing was a bit turbulent but I'd donned my seat belt under my clothing at six AM so I was good. With the near-misses and Charlie missiles, I mean.
Having alerted me to the fact that even the card was breakable, he requested the children gather 'round so Grams could open their gift - already in need of first aid from a loading mishap, named Patrick, I believe. Billed a 'travel-fam' as
well, words fail me in any attempt at the emotions that overcome a 'Grams' gazing at a framed collage of three of her peeps, artfully and poignantly graced with super-glued icons representative of her and the stars of this masterpiece.
The pencil - I write - the die with its face showing the number six, as I have six peeps, a golf tee, Declan's passion, lovely shells and an amorphous sea creature, Molly's obsession - and a gerbera daisy - also compliments of Molly and Mommy because I love these flowers - and when I finally pointed to two race cars, tearing across the bottom of the frame, Patrick and his arm literally 'lifted off' the floor in a proud display of attribution. Please note, McQueen's car has a black-and-white, sirens blaring, on his tail.)
I do apologize for this shameful breach of taste and form. The narcotic as yet does not exist that can compete with the effect a bragging grandmother has on her listeners' minds. But, like these kids - their insistence on including Mia - #6 traveling and could not join us - I have to believe that there is at least an element of universal appeal to this recounting.
Of course, if you, my friends, do not share my belief, I trust you've moved on to real literature and please know, I completely understand. To be sure, it is unlikely that Mia - all about perpetual motion, rushing into life with a 'try me' affect and a 'you love me' smile - does not. What could possibly be more interesting and engaging that this 'lemon-haired brood' adoring their "Gigi", huh?
"Beats me," she'd no doubt stoutly put forth. Whether she'd be correct in her assessment is yours to decide. I'll just linger a bit and mentally enjoy the future with-the- peeps-ere-in-tow wherever I travel. I am all about sharing (you noticed) so feel free to print 'n take 'em with you as well. Or not. Hoping to see you again soon, Later, Lorane. . . .