Saturday, September 24, 2011


One of the brightest spots in the  wedding weekend had nothing to do with bride and groom, though they WERE the center of everything and certainly provided their own share of BRIGHT, with their sweet personalities and their dear whimsical touches (especially a FIRST DANCE that warrants them a place  on DWTS, SYTYCD, or Broadway, take your pick---of that, moir√© non).

My own immersion in Grandma Heaven began on Friday, when our DDIL and our littlest drove over to spend the afternoon with us.   We’d been out and about in all that sunshine, checking out light levels for the photos, just enjoying the beautiful of the wedding site, and had come back to the hotel to meet them.    She appeared in the peep-hole, and as I opened the door, there stood this TINY little fellow, who took one look, turned, and dashed back down the long hall.    After all, he hadn’t seen me in months, and only when his Ganner stepped out, did he make a similar dash for him.

After a few moments of very quiet play with Mama’s keys, handing them around, did he just naturally make his way into my lap, and then we were OFFFF.   Back to the big wedding hall, to do lots of girl-stuff, whilst I chased after and loved that quicksilver little boy.   His way with door-handles and drawer-pulls is something to see, and I’ve never SEEN anybody under twenty pounds go that FAST.

Then, at the Friday-night dinner party, the rest of the GA clan arrived---Gracie, Kit and Cal, making their way through the buffet crowd for big hugs, and you know, the only moment apart in the whole 36 hours until we all parted ways on Sunday, was the time it took for them to go get into their wedding clothes and ride to the ceremony with their parents.

We were TOGETHER---playing and crafting and showers and baths and talking and snuggling before bed, with the girls on the pull-out in our suite, and Cal (first time sleepover actually in our ROOM) on the air-mattress we’d brought.    Somehow our room had a dozen downy white pillows, and we made fairy nest and dragon-lair of all the beds.   Bedtime, of course, entailed the sharing of ONE icy Dr. Pepper, sparkled over small cups of ice, and the big cigar-pretzels we always bring.

We’d taken fruit and milk and all the coffee set-up for our room, though they had a nice layout in the little kitchen.     Everybody had a bath, got into jammies, and even Chris settled into his bed early after such a sparkling day.   They all got settled with all the lamps off save the one by my bed (lampshade dressed as is traditional, in a spiffy red T-shirt, leaving just enough rosy glow for me to read a bit later).

Kit requested “The Princess and the Pea” and so I sat over in their “room” in the dim light, telling the uncomplicated little story I first read in my own Little Golden Books, embellishing and soothing, and by the time the 12th princess came to the castle to audition, climbing that golden ladder, up the pearly steps to the top of those twenty mattresses beneath the sky-blue canopy, Little Cal was sound asleep (he who his Mama said would NOT stay in bed, and to count on a romping bedtime), and I could hear the gentle soothe of Chris’ sleeping, as well.

The girls stayed awake til the end, then Kit settled grinning that sleep-smile into her pillows, and Gracie read for a little bit, under her own soft-draped lamp.

I cannot tell you how that feels, that enthusiastic welcome and that settling into the old, comfortable routines as if we saw each other every weekend---the easy, unfailing bond with these Heart-Children is one of the loveliest parts of my life.   There’s never a YOURS, no MINE---just OURS---with no thought that it might be any other way.   (And the call from DD this week, that Cal keeps nagging her to take him back to the hotel where we live--that’s just lagniappe).

And we slept, in that quiet, brimful room, resting til the percolator sent the fragrant signal to rise for the WEDDING festivities.   Moire non of our wonderful weekend. 


Chesapeake said...

Beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

Southern Lady said...

Oh, what a fairy tale weekend you created for your little ones. It sounds magical, and it's no wonder Cal wants to go back. I know your heart was overflowing, Rachel.

racheld said...

It was a roller-coaster of a wonder-weekend!

And the "hotel" sentiments were Kit's exactly, as well, for about two years.

Bev said...

That was so beautiful..what great memories these kids are going to have..and hopefully pass on to future generations...loved it!

Maggie McArthur said...

You writer, you, I was there! It made me feel all toasty on this horrid grey cold day.

Kouign Aman said...

That's what its like when I see my nephew again. He comes right up beaming for a giant hug, before he and the girl go off for their adventures. My nephew, like your heartkids, has the biggest brightest greetings for those he loves. Even if he does get mad at me when I make him mind MY rules in MY house!
I love your writing. In my words, that would be a pedestrian pile o pillows, but in yours its a fairy wonderland.

Tonja said...

Oh Rachel, this is beautiful! Just the telling of the day is like a fairy tale itsownself!

I have worked with children all my life, and I know this to be true( as do you)...children feel love so honestly. None of this do I still love her because she did this or I can't forget what he said that upset me. No, children's love is pure. It is love that 'feels' all the way to the heart. And, the little ones may take a few moments to remember, but then it comes back.

And, they never, ever forget. Because they lock those lovely feelings away in their heart forever.

I had a nephew who was very hard to love. He was ADD and OCD and smart and wild and not parented very well. It was so hard when he would come to visit at Christmas. One year I had bought a box of those ornaments that you paint, little wooden ones. When he had had all the Christmas he could stand, he and I went into the kitchen and I brough out the box of ornaments...and we sat and painted for hours while the rest partied and visited. I learned alot about him that night. He recently married, and at his reception he told me that was the best Christmas he ever had ! His mother said that was one of the only things he wanted to take to his new home with his wife.

Love never forgets.

Kim S. said...

What a lovely gift for all of you. Like Maggie, I was THERE!

Tonja - "Love never forgets" - how true and how wonderful. I, too, have a young family member who is hard to love - and, sadly, no one really tries too hard. With your wonderful story, you make me want to try harder.