We showed up with a little basket of goodies and sat and chatted while the kids jumped on the neighbors' trampoline, made lots of noise on (I mean, played) Grandpa's organ, and painted in Grandma's art studio. Cameron and Grandpa talked, I caught up with Grandma, and it felt so good to just enjoy their company.
As our visit was winding down Emma was puttering around their solarium taking apart a few geraniums and Abby and Grace were running wildly on their balcony. I looked at the balcony, at the patio below, and was swept up in memories. I remembered watching Fourth of July fireworks from that balcony together nearly ten years ago when Cameron and I were just dating. I remembered rolling Easter eggs on the patio with Cameron's siblings and parents when we were newlyweds.
"I didn't appreciate those experiences enough at the time," I realized. I couldn't have fast forwarded to where we are now, ten years later, with four small children and grandparents who are in their twilight years. We are so grateful to still have them. But their energy just doesn't hold up for huge holiday gatherings that last till almost midnight anymore. And so we sit quietly with them, occasionally patting a hand or knee, and when we leave we tell them twice how much we love them.
The day after Easter began our week of spring break. Without the usual grind of schoolwork to settle them, the kids were only too happy to run wildly around the house, chasing each other, screaming, shrieking, and enjoying childhood fun. Admittedly, sometimes such boisterous displays of childhood happiness are hard on my nerves.
|Our flour is stored on the counter for now--at least until Emma stops seizing every moment to spread it all over the kitchen!|
Where will our kids be in another ten years? What sweet moments will I look back on and admit that I didn't appreciate at the time? It's impossible to foretell.
But for today I can take a deep breath, embrace the happy noises of childhood, snuggle them closer, and be grateful for what I have today.