My grandson wakes up singing.
I hear his voice through the closed door of his bedroom and do not go in. My heart yearns to listen and feel the joy in his song.
When I do go in, he smiles his beatific smile, holds out his panda for me to admire and asks, “Can I have my silver porch car?”
I smile and ask back, “Is there a word missing?”
He gives that same heart-melting smile and says, “Puhleaaase.”
I’d do anything for that smile and so go and find his little silver porch car.
For the next 15 minutes, I sit in the chair beside his bed as he plays in his crib with his trusty panda in one hand and the other ‘zoomin’ the car across the mattress. There’s a carwash to visit. A tunnel to drive through and a cliff to dangle the wheels over.
Eventually, he sits up, holds out his arms and says, “It’s time to get out of my sleep sack.”
And the day begins.
Each day always includes a walk. Rain or shine.
It is, ‘our thing’.
And I am into ‘our thing’.
Last year at this time when I came to visit, I wrote a post called “Lessons from a Toddler”. The first lesson was:
- There’s no need to focus on your destination. It’s not going anywhere.
“Take time to savour every step along the way. You’ll get to where you’re going, eventually. Sometimes you’ll end up where you thought, sometimes you won’t. It’s all okay. Doesn’t matter. Where ever you end up, you’ll have discovered new vistas, new things along the way.”
With an almost 2 and a half-year-old, the lesson remains as true today as it was then. There is always so much to discover when you savour every step you take.
Inspired by the teachings of Orly Aveniri’s “Come Outside” online workshop, TJ and I have been collecting leaves and flowers and petals that have fallen on the ground. They are gifts for his mommy.
Yesterday, we smooshed our hands in paint and smeared them all over the pages of his painting book and made marks with his paintbrush and glued our collected ephemera onto the page.
It was pure delight.
Earlier in the day, we made zucchini muffins. He mixed the flour and dry goods in one bowl, poured the liquid and vanilla into the other and then stirred them all together. The kitchen ended up with flour everywhere. It didn’t matter. Though, as I said to my daughter, “One thing I forgot. When cooking with a 2 year old, make sure you have all the ingredients on the counter before you begin!” Otherwise, you risk having flour flying out of the bowl and being reminded that a mixing spoon is not just a spoon. It’s a rocketship too!
As we neared the end, he climbed down from his special kitchen stool, raced into the bedroom where his mother and sister were lying on the bed with his dad and proclaimed proudly, “I made muffins!”
I could listen to his voice forever.
I have been here for just over a week now and my heart is full.
Time with my granddaughter, Ivy, is a blessing. I savour it all.
Time with TJ and his family is a gift. A treasure. It fills my heart and memory banks as sweetly as rain trickling down a string of copper bowls into a barrel.
I will dip into it when I’m not here and come out refreshed, nourished and soaked in the sweet, tender goodness of these days.
On Wednesday, C.C., my beloved, will be driving out with my youngest daughter who is coming for ten days to support her sister and family.
She was to have flown but concerns over exposure to Covid on airplanes nixed those plans. Concerned that she had never taken such a long drive alone, C.C. offered to drive her out. They’ll rent a car so the two of us can drive home together in my car.
His willingness to take that long drive just to help out is a testament to his natural generosity and kindness.
But then, that’s family.
Heeding the call of Love to be there for one another in good times and challenging times.
These are exceptionally good times. Times to savour. Remember. Cherish.
Times to fill the memory barrel letting the sweet nectar of these days fill my heart.