Monday, September 14, 2015

Capturing Some Final Moments of Summer

Summer is fading fast and we are grabbing for every glistening, glimmering, moment of it.

I had a plan.

I was going to capture some of these wonderfully warm September moments with water and sun and some of my favorite people.

So, for Grandparents Day, I had grand-kids at my house. It was actually for two days before and one day after that we celebrated together.

The schedule was cleared as much as possible.... except there is just a lot of life happening all the time, isn't there?  But, short of a fire in the house, everything would have to cease for nap time.

So, the fridge was stocked with fresh fruit, kid-friendly food and I was pretty confident in my ability to single handedly handle this.

After all, with somewhat proven success, we did raised three daughters. The girls seem surprisingly well adjusted and live in their own homes.

When ‘The Three’ climbed into the car with their most prized belongings, we all knew this was going to be “easy-peasy.” –That is what the oldest said anyway.

He had his four foot long, hand hewn gun, she had her glitter cowboy boots and the youngest had the all-important “Mime.” (We are talking the difference between happy and tragic. We wanted to choose happy.)

We arrived home in time to unload all the bags and to reload for our fun Friday evening activities.

A month earlier I had signed up to deliver a meal, to a family who I had not met, who lived at an address I'd never heard of.

This sounded like a good idea 30 days ago.

So there we all were, sippy cups with filtered ice water, slices of organically raised apples, and of course, the diaper bag. I put the address of our destination into a navigation search on my phone and we were off on our little adventure. We were all singing loud and off-key and laughing with shrill screams like children can make you do.

Did I mention that I had a plan?

It didn’t include getting slightly lost.

My phone insisted that the address we were looking for was in the center of a pasture. There were cows.

Going back to the last known intersection, I started knocking on doors. Thinking someone, somewhere should know their neighbors. I can tell you that some people do not know their neighbors.

It was an opportunity to meet some really nice folks. None of them had a new baby or knew of anyone who had a new baby in their little cozy neighborhood. One man did try to sell me his house.

Some darling children kept smiling and waving each time we passed by on the other side of the cul de sac and as luck would have it, we asked if they had a new baby and they said they did.

Since we were in the neighborhood, which in Nebraska means you are within a 10 mile radius, we went to see my husband who was helping to pour a cement driveway.

At what time was it ever a good idea to take young children to a location where there is fresh cement?

I remembered the parable of how dogs and children are drawn to freshly edged concrete like bees to flowers.  The problem became apparent about the same time the little-guy filled his diaper and there was just no ignoring the problem.

This would be an easy fix. (This is also a saying of the oldest boy.)

The diaper bag was heavy. I imagined a whole box of diapers inside, but only found one completely swollen diaper that appeared to have been used for swimming. Everything inside the bag was slimy like the diaper.

We hung upside down in the car searching for even one stray diaper. The kids thought this was a great game since a flashlight was involved. The search only produced glitter boots and a gun.

We called a few people. I suppose this was more for emotional support, since they would be able to help us how?

There was no reason to panic. Yet.

“Full speed ahead!” (Another new catchy phrase my oldest grandson gave me.)

We were only half an hour from my home. So we put little-guys shorts on, along with seat belts, and again we were off.

Things went smoothly for the next three minutes.

That is when that certain little-guy began to scream the letter “p” repeatedly.

Of course I thought, “How smart is that boy that he knows his letters already?!”

Yes, my grand-ma-ness gets in the way of reality sometime.

It was like a fountain in the rear view mirror and he and his camo booster seat were afloat.

The next pit stop left him in his birthday suit and it seemed to fit him well.

We needed diapers. The stores where those can be purchased were probably not prepared for our little entourage. The kids had a great idea to go to their house.

They said they knew the secret code to get into the house and there may have been crying until I agreed to let them prove it.

The bare-bum boy was running around the yard, screaming and waving at people passing by while apparently three failed attempts locks you out from future tries on keyless entry systems?

Less than two hours before, I had been fully confident that I could adequately care for the lives, hearts and emotional well-being of these children. Now we had been lost in a small town, wandering door to door talking to complete strangers and attempting to gain entry to a house for which we had no key, while the neighbors watched one screaming boy bare more than his soul.

Now I remembered what a miracle it is that my own children survived.

And there is no end to the humbling that comes with being a parent or grandparent.

I once thought, I would never forget how much energy it took to be a mom of littles. Bless you mommas. Bless you. I hope you can remember the sacred inside each of your precious mini versions of you. The window of time is really short even though it feels long.

While I’ll admit the memories have faded, along with so much else in my physical world, it all comes crashing back in at moments like these.

These kids, and well all kids really, do things like their parents did when they were kids.

They live full out and the rest are just detail that only bother adults.

I’m not sure how –not wanting to potty-train until you’re 18– can be genetic?

I’ve learned some things this last week.

The more we stayed home the more fun we had.

To keep things "easy-peasy" you can serve PB & J’s and chips for breakfast.

There is a 99.9% chance of things not going according to plan, but maybe that is part of what made it worth living.

The crazy, messy, moments mixed in with the final summer-like days have been sun-kissed blessings.

No children were hurt in the writing of this blog post. 

How are you spending these beautiful September days? 


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© Rhonda Quaney