Our Georgia Grandchildren will be here next week, and we have a whole Trick-Bag full of fun stuff we plan to do---a Fairy Teaparty on the lawn, with all the girls in their floaty Fairy dresses, and their tiny brother (for the five minutes it takes to snap a couple of pictures) in his older sister's bee costume from Halloween when she was two. Another day, we'll have a belated egg-dye party, then let the two oldest go out and scatter the two dozen gaudy plastic eggs amongst the ivy in plain sight.
When they come back in, I'll go out and hide the "real" eggs in hidey-places, for them to hunt whilst the tiny two gather up the plastic ones. We're planning an old-fashioned weenie-roast out at the firepit, with marshmallows (Caro's first reaction was: "We're gonna make the kids some REAL S'mores!)" I love that twilight time, with the logs burning red and the fireflies beginning to flicker in the trees, and snuggling on the big pillows for a story before coming in for bed.
And I intend to spend most of my time just WITH the little ones---Christmas was so hectic, with all the cooking and gifts, and now all is neat and ready for just BEING for a while, to color and draw and paint at the breakfast table, to try on all the silly old hats and pearls and boas and handbags in the linen press, to sit on the floor and comb pony manes and giggle, to all pile on the girls' bed one night, like we do in hotels, and "smoke" great big pretzel cigars and sing, "Twinkle, Twinkle, little bat . . ." as we split a Dr. Pepper sparkled over ice, and toast "TO YOUUUU!" until the last sip is gone.
When we were visiting the kids in Georgia a couple of years ago, tiny Kit, who was about two, wandered into the room in her feetie-pajamas, with a coffee-can lid neatly balanced on her palm, despite the several dollars’ worth of coins it held. She walked up to Ganner and me and announced, “Iss hez and tayuhssss.” We immediately acknowledged that it indeed WAS money, and watched as she poked each coin through the slot of her immense pink piggy-bank.
Finished, she held the pig out toward Ganner. “Iss Wibbers,” she said, with a tiny sibilant whistle on the end of each word, Kitese for “Oh, Dear Grandfather, allow me to introduce my own pet pig, Wilbur. He is named for the character in Charlotte’s Web.”
We said hello to Wilbur, and she said, “E nees Hez n Tayuss.” So Ganner reached into a pocket and held out a big handful of coins, thinking that Kit would take them one at a time and put them into her bank. Not so.
With a strike like lightning, that tiny hand went Whop! and got EVERY ONE of those coins in one swoop. We could not believe the magic of that gesture---how did her little hand HOLD them all, let alone grab them all at once. I don’t think she could have held out her hand and let us put them all carefully in---there were that many.
To see if it really happened, Chris fished again, came out with several quarters and quite a few dimes and nickels. And once again, she swooped and gathered fast as eyesight. Wibbers was indeed a full, happy pig that day.
And so we'll store up the laughing and the snuggling and the sheer presence of four small people, our people, who are taller and more grown-up every visit. And we'll have those times to hold onto until we see them again.