Weekend Morning

I set the alarm for 5:15 so I could at least lie in the bed for a few minutes before our visiting little-guys woke; it went off and I was wide awake, all too aware that they were sleeping just on the other side of our bedroom wall. “This is good!” I thought. “I can think my own thoughts, stretch, do bound-angle pose and even change that darn dressing on my incision before they wake at 6!”

That’s when I heard a small sound as a hand-scrawled note came sliding under the door. “Can we get up now TT? it said.

They were already awake!  At quarter past five in the morning!  And had evidently been awake long enough for the older one to have found paper and pencil and composed a full sentence.

Then the bedroom door opened and in they rushed us. They got right in the bed, with us, turned on the TV and for 45 minutes lay on their tummies watching the jazzy pre-teen lingo and fast moving graphics on Disney HD.

I won’t lie: I lay on my tummy watching too. In fact we all watched except for Old Dave. “Papa can sleep through anything!” said the little brother. That he can, and always could, from way back when he looked like this, my sister has called him “Lying Down Man.” 

After the pancakes and bacon, the juice and the mangoes,  the brushing of the teeth and the inspecting of TT’s green toenail polish we manned our battle stations to give those lights sabers a work out as promised.

I sigh happily remembering it even as I yearn for a nap here. Besides engaging in a little sword play what’s nicer on a weekend morning than lying in bed with friends?

Tonight Tonight

Our kitchen has three fruit bowls on the counter, all brimming, all constantly being refilled. The washing machine goes day and night. If Person Five comes back today to clean out her stuff there’ll be six people in the house.

This is all just temporary. Person Six was born here but he’s just visiting for the weekend. Person Five is moving to a new apartment to begin her real life in the area and Persons Three and Four have begun taking boxes over to their own new place that they’ve been waiting for since they first saw it in May.

That will leave only Persons One and Two, Who brought their own boxes to this place over 30 years ago with a 26-month-old, then welcomed another baby a month later and a final baby a few turns of the moon after that.

(the big ones are Persons One and Two – that’s me in my 80’s hair )

It’s a big old house, with a long curving upstairs hallway around which we walked many nights holding this or that crying baby or toddler, BUT: It won’t feel big tonight when those two little guys come for their sleepover.

Their parents tell us they wake fighting and fight the day through- in a manly way fisticuffs, wrestling moves, choke-holds. It’s what boys do, everybody says.

Attempting to go with that I bought them both Star Wars Light Sabers for tonight’s fun – plus one for me. We tested them out last weekend.

“Are you out of your MIND?” said Old Dave, regarding this arsenal. He thinks the bigger child will deal the little one a mighty blow and in the process all three Light Sabers will spontaneously shatter.He doesn’t understand the delicacy of Jedi swordplay. We three do because we watched the 15 minute video that comes with our new toys.

Anyway there’s this: Person Number Four took these two children to camp and to Magic Garden three mornings this week and recorded these moments as they said their goodbyes. Now does this look like fighting to you?


Me I think it’s going to be a feast of hugs and kisses around here in the next 23 hours (with maybe some thudding feet at 5am around that upstairs hallway.)

And if things take a more warlike turn I’ll just channel my own inner Yoda 🙂

anyway we look a lit alike

Mischievous

Picture it: a couple of eight-year-olds in backwards-facing baseball caps at the Y, looking out the window at the really little guys playing in the Child Care enclosure outside. It was one of the last days in June and the whole place was jumpin’ because SUMMER DAY CAMP has started 

The eight-year-olds stood at the floor-to-ceiling window at the end of the narrow hallway you go down to enter the day’s activities on Fit-Linxx. They were knocking on the glass to get the attention of the little fellas,  most of them busy either sucking their fingers or squeezing their shirtfronts the way little kids do.

I saw these two making faces at the wee ones and I couldn’t help myself. I started to smile. They smiled back – at first – but then you could see them registering the hard fact that this was a grownup here, smile or no smile, and there was no telling what trouble she might start.

“Givin’ the little guys a hard time are ya?” I asked as I approached the Fit Lynx machine to record my Pilates session. I was still smiling madly.

“NO!” they cried unison. They sprang back from the window, then broke into a run.

“Not at all!” yelled one, passing me at a gallop.

“What little guys?” said the other, and then just as they passed me one turned back. “Maybe just a little!” he shouted gleefully. Then they both burst out laughing, streaked around the corner and were gone.   

You can see it, getting a boot out of watching those younger than themselves. Standing still and sucking their fingers or running like rabbits, young kids really are just plain funny.

Fireworks

What can we say about a month like this month? A weekend like the weekend just past which held not just spectacle and an email from someone I had not seen since I was 11, but a birthday. At the party yesterday a piñata took a real beating and there was pizza, and a cake that looked like a sleeping badger, and sparklers from across the border in New Hampshire, the famous Live Free or Die state  where you can still go helmetless on your big old motorbike if you’re that crazy.

I’m the one who brought the sparklers, which anyone can get right in any supermarket there in the Granite State. “Look! Sparklers! They’re illegal in Massachusetts!” I said to the birthday boy’s older brother and his eyes widened. “WHoooa!” he yelled. “Hey everybody, we have sparklers!” Then…. “What’s ‘illegal’?

We got a lecture on that topic from a firefighter-guest and when we did finally light them it was under conditions you could only describe as extremely controlled. We watched a few fizz down to their wicks in honor of a matchless May day. The sun went all golden and a little boy blew out his candles as his big brother kissed him and who knows but what the two of them will still be embracing each other right on into the 22nd century?


Grandma Says: Stay a Baby as Long as You Can

Last night at midnight our family baby turned three and, some would say, became a baby no more. But when I look back! By the time his mom turned three I was treating her as if she were a combination Teaching Assistant and Counselor-in-Training, so much older did she seem than that new little package we held in our arms, swaddled tight against a case of colic so horrid I used to climb on top of the clothes dryer with her, its roaring tumble being about the only thing that could soothe her.

Really, three-year-olds are still babies, even though they can talk. That oldest child of mine, mother to CurlyTop here? Here’s how she made sense of her sense of disappointment at being nudged aside by a newcomer: “Sometimes when I miss my nap I don’t love the baby that much,” she said one day and that was months before she turned three. As for Baby Colic, at three she was still sucking her thumb with all the relish of a man smoking a fine cigar – and kept on sucking it right through kindergarten, sneaking over to her cubby for secret sessions among the hats and jackets. It’s true that their little brother appeared in the kitchen the morning of his third birthday and refused his customary bottle of cold chocolate milk.  “I’m three,” he said. “I don’t drink from a bottle anymore,” the implication being that he was past all that  – though not, as I recall, past stuffing a bright plastic bead up his nose  few weeks later  just because it seemed to fit so nicely. (Now there was one long night in the ER!)

There will be a party later today and all we busy grownups will stop our mulching and our weeding, our ironing and our cooking  and head over to their little house in the woods and spend a few hours with him and his sweet  big brother and their parents, just watching them play in the warm spring sun.