For the better part of last week I had a family — here, at my house. My daughter’s air conditioner gave up the fight and they had to get a new one. During the wait and installation they lived with me. Some days we had three of the children, sometimes we had only the youngest. (The oldest was at gymnastics camp in Pennsylvania.) Oh, and the cat! I forgot to mention the cat.
It was fun being part of a family again. I missed them when they moved back home. While they were here, I found myself relaxing into the chaos that having children entails. There’s almost always one who’s hungry, one who needs a ride to somewhere, one who needs a little extra attention, etc. Multigenerational families are a thing of the past in our American society. After last week, I can see reasons to bring them back.
There are times when moms and dads can’t stop what they’re doing in order to give extra attention to the child in need of it — even acting out to get it. But Grammy can. My little boy entertained himself for a long time after I snuggled with him on the couch and taught him to play Solitaire on my tablet. Granted, times are different. I learned to play by watching my dad play with a real deck of cards. Still, F and I had some quality time and he knows a new game.
I’ve written about my youngest grandchild S before. She’s five. She, of course, has a personality like no other. She constantly fascinates and entertains me. I can’t decide whether I should call her my “bag lady” or my little “pack rat.” She borrowed an empty purse to put her “finds” in, but quickly decided it wasn’t big enough when she discovered one of my large canvas grocery bags. She took her bag and went about her days accumulating “stuff.” It seemed harmless enough to me. Occasionally she would show me one of the treasures she had in her stash. No problem, right?
After “little missy” went home, I found her bag in an upstairs bedroom. I picked it up. It was heavy. How on earth had that small child carried it up the stairs? And down? And up? As I emptied the bag, I was able to solve many mysteries . The Earl Grey tea we couldn’t find for breakfast? The entire package was in her bag along with the missing place mat, a partial set of coasters, a flying pig doorstop, a modern-day version of the Bible, a book of positive quotes to start your day, some cocktail napkins, a bar of soap — I could go on and on. How I wish I had taken a picture of her mountain of goodies.
They have gone home now to their once again cool house. I miss them. I’ve been thinking as I write that it certainly was fun having someone to “blame” when I couldn’t find things. And guess what! Even though they have moved back home, I’m no longer alone. I have a cat! That’s right, they left Lulu with me. I’ve adopted her. We’re getting along very well, adapting to each other’s idiosyncrasies. It seemed the natural thing to do. You see, Lulu doesn’t do well with children. She’s getting less nervous every day. Maybe I am, too.