One more day until the Georgia clan arrives, and the house is awash in anticipation---the beds waiting with fresh linens, fragrant with the hours on the line. Floors are vacuumed, shelves dusted, slipcovers smoothed; small trays and drinking glasses and lidded-mugs-with-a-straw, each in a separate color for keeping-up-with await small hands and breakfasts beneath the big backyard tree.
Toys and games and books sit ranged on shelves, in baskets, just for this moment, for when four sets of eyes seek and find, the merriment and the play are everything, and order flies out the window. It’s a comforting chaos, with littered floors and scattery stuff, puzzle-bits a-mingle with dinosaurs and the neon ping of Barbie pumps, and stuffed creatures of every hue in their postures of droppage and strew.
And new faces, new knowledge, new postures and accents and haircuts and clothes---the changes are noticeable every time, except for the same easy slide right back into where-we-left-off, the familiar companionship and bright together of being with these remarkable young people.
And so, I anticipate, I prepare. Their needs are provided for, their boxes of Alpha-Bits and Cheerios stand by, with juice boxes and fruit cups and pretzels, goldfish and grapes; yogurts and endless gallons of milk populate the chill shelves of the fridge.
And, of course, a BIG box of little flat-bottomed ice cream cones---we stop for cones at the drop of a hat, scattering sprinkles like seeds on patio, lawn, furniture, ourselves. Two tiny round blue “swimming pools” are propped out by the back faucet, for the littlest ones, and a big new froggy sprinkler on the little side lawn should entice them all on a hot day. There’s no symphony in the world like the giggles and squeals of kids running through a sprinkler.
We’ll have picnics on the lawn, another in the park; a day at the Children’s Museum is scheduled, perhaps another at the zoo. A weenie roast, the real old fashioned kind, about firefly time one evening---Chris is cutting long sticks for the cooking out at the firepit, and Aunt Caro has all the needfuls for a surfeit of S’Mores. He and she do differ on ideas---he maintains that Peanut Butter is a necessity, and she is a purist---Graham crackers, Hershey Bar squares, and toasted marshmallows at the perfect gooey stage for smushing between and melting the chocolate. Would that all the world’s differences be so sweet and warm, with such easy accord.
There’s a birthday party next weekend for our Kit, with two sets of grandparents in attendance; we’ll have lunch on the lawn, and I’d like to introduce our young ones to the old-fashioned party games of my own childhood: Drop the Handkerchief and Farmer in the Dell and chalk-drawn Hopscotch on the driveway. I think they’d even try Pin the Tail on the Donkey, and I’ve found a pretty, girly piñata---no hitting or blindfolding---you each pull a ribbon for the candy shower.
I’m ready. I prepare. And I’m prepared for the roller-coaster of the days, as well, with four voices calling at once, and footsteps scattering to the corners of the yard, all needing seeing after and answering at once.
And tea parties---always tea parties. Last visit, every lunch was a tea party, with another late in the afternoon. You just can’t overdo on those.
When the world is all at odds
And the mind is all at sea
Then cease the useless tedium
And brew a cup of tea.
There is magic in its fragrance,
There is solace in its taste;
And then laden moments vanish
Somehow into space.
And the world becomes a lovely thing!
There's beauty as you'll see;
All because you briefly stopped
To brew a cup of tea.
......................A Wise Soul