Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Guess Who?

Guess who has been visiting for the past week? You know, the one who can make all my kids laugh. The one who finds joy out of doing housework for me. The one who considers it a privilege to play games and read books to high-energy kids all day long. The one who is almost willing to give her right arm if it means more time with my family. 
That's right - Grandma! She arrived last Wednesday and left yesterday afternoon. Sad goodbyes at the airport, for sure, but happy memories and full hearts from a week of fun.
What did we do? Nothing, really. Well, nothing that involved driving far places or waiting in lines or paying money or getting up early and arriving home late. None of that. Just lots of stay-around-home and play and swim kind of things.
Since temps have been just a little uncomfortable (I mean, if I sweat just by walking to the mailbox I consider that too hot), we spent a couple of hours each day at the pool. The boys kept Grandma mesmerized with their underwater handstands, diving techniques, cannonballs, and three-in-a-row underwater somersaults.
Annalyse kept us both on our toes since she is prone to step right off the edge, walk down steps, or instantly submerge her head in water... just for the fun of it. It's almost like the bigger the scare to my mom and I, the bigger the smile and laugh from Annalyse.
Grandma swam laps and laps (and laps and laps) with the boys. She threw diving sticks again and again (and again and again). She watched cannonballs and twisty-jumps and backward falls and can opener jumps over and over (and over and over). 
And, not to be outdone by her grandsons, she showed them a thing or two about making the splash of all splashes when cannonballing. No pics of the (hysterical) moment, but trust me, it happened.
Grandma arrived with endless amounts of patience for multiple rounds of Sorry, Battleship, Trouble, Memory, Eye Spy, Ants in Pants, and a host of other mind numbing games that my boys like to play. But, since it was too hot to play outside, I'm glad we all stayed busy and happy (for the most part) inside.
Not only was Grandma the most fun board game player, she was also the favorite before bed reader.  And shower giver, and teeth brusher, and anything else that is normally part of the parenting hum-drum. Now that I think about it, she basically gave me a week of vacation!
Grandma enjoyed plenty of opportunities for some one-on-one time with each of the kids, which is important. Since we had a full week there wasn't the usual rush while enjoying things together. It was definitely a very laid back week - which is something we haven't had since early May so it was a welcomed gift.
Because Grandma was flying out July 3, we opted for some simple Fourth of July fun a tad early: grilled burgers, giant flag sugar cookie, and sparklers. Annalyse was a huge fan of the cookie and couldn't wait to get her hands on sparklers, too. No fear with that child, no fear.
One morning the temperature hadn't yet his 90 degrees so we opted for a bike ride along the trail in the woods. We stopped by a small bridge over the creek and Grady Lee had the genius idea to play hide and go seek. Just what every Grandma loves to play. In the woods. With spiders. With mosquitoes. With hot, humid temperatures. But, because Grandma is awesome she eagerly closed her eyes and began counting. I think this earned her some extra jewels in her heavenly crown.
It's true: Grandma changes everything. The boring becomes fun. The mundane becomes new. The laughs are a bit louder. The smiles are more frequent. And, somehow, Oreo cookies and mint chocolate chip ice cream and gummy snacks end up in the house. Apparently when Grandma goes grocery shopping she can't say no to pleading eyes that ask for treats.
Today I asked the kids what their favorite part of Grandma's visit was. Honesty is, indeed, precious.

Grady Lee: "My favorite thing about Grandma coming was that she bought me the treat I wanted even though she didn't have a coupon. And, Grandma likes to play Battleship a lot of times in a row with me and she is a good diving stick thrower."

Micah: "My favorite thing about Grandma's visit was that she bought me Nerf bullets and that she liked to play games with me whenever I wanted."

Annalyse: No answer, just smiles and a quick waddle to her picture sitting on a table in the living room.
And for me? My favorite part of Grandma's visit was the chance to drink my coffee while it was still hot. The chance to simply sit and relax while she played with the kids. The chance to sit on the deck with her and talk about life. The chance to watch her interact with my kids and teach me new ways to show them love and interest. The chance to experience her energy and ideas and love for all things family.
Not sure when we see Grandma (or Grandpa) again, but we're looking at the calendar and hoping that the weeks or months until our next visit pass quickly. We love you, Grandma!
(And, if I can be bold, can I ask you to continue to pray for complete healing in her back? She still has occasional pain and inflammation that makes it a challenge to do much, let alone sit or lay comfortably.) 

1 comment:

  1. I always LOVE your Grandma posts! Your mom is amazing & it looks like you packed SO much fun & quality time into just a low-key, laid-back "do-nothing" week!! The pics of you & your mom are lovely!! And you look wonderful in that yellow dress!! Oh & Micah's expression in the pic of all of them with Grandma, well it is priceless!!!