Friday, April 17, 2009


The Georgia clan left us after a late breakfast of sausage balls made entirely by our two girls, from the measuring of the Bisquick to smushing the mixture together, to rolling out the balls for the cookie sheet. Our ten-year-old recited the recipe to her Mom at the table---1,2,3. 1 roll of sausage, 2 cups of cheese, 3 cups of Bisquick, smushed all together. 400/10.

We made our own parfaits, layering strawberries and yogurt and granola in tall pretty dishes, and passed the Cool-Whip and hot fudge. I think the girls made two each, mostly on the Cool-Whip side, and we had lovely rich sticks of Cheddar and fresh-cut pineapple and dark fat grapes clutched so closely that they each had flattened sides like peas too tight in the pod.

They pulled out of the drive just as the Friday siren gave its weekly blare, and I'm still sitting in midst of a Combat Zone whose artillery fired Alphabits, pretzel rods, lost grapes, plastic eggs, scrambled toys and yogurt snacks.

I spent the afternoon in a coma of departure and spent energy and a mind full of child-treasuring, with quite a bit of lovely memory stuffed into this recovering brain. They backed away down the drive in the sunshine, flurry of waving handkerchiefs, blown kisses, handprints-on-windows, and one last cheery beepbeep of the horn.

I staggered indoors, hugged Chris bye as he went out to tend to his Friday business. I showered, sat dazed before a Sandra Lee with a tuna sandwich and huge sustaining 40-weight iced tea, turned down the bed unmindful of the noon hour, and got two pages into a re-visit of No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency before I fell into the cool dark.

Chris picked up our favorite dinner at our favorite Chinese place, and tomorrow I'll man the vacuum, the Windex (leaving the beneath-the-glass-table fingerprints for smiling later) and try to make some sense of whatever these rooms used to be. They're certainly empty now---of energy, of bright, of giggly, taller-than-last-time selves with heart-wrapped fingers.

And so they came and went, and a hunkahunka me went down that drive today. The part that's left will sit with Chris and tea in the darkness of tomorrow’s early morning den, re-living the time through all the photographs, seeing moments we missed in the flurry, and we'll each tell the other what the other missed, our own parts of the whole that we'll construct and share.

The rooms were silently still today, after the flurry of tea parties, crafts, plantings in pots and in the garden soil, admiring each worm found as the prettiest or the liveliest or the tiniest, of making paper airplanes and helicopters and origami cranes. We dyed three successive sets of eggs (none hidden, none found---the sheer artistry was enough, and I happen to have a HUGE jar of olives), stuck colorful tattoos to cheek and arm and hand, and had TWO Easter Parades yesterday.

The push car and the stroller and banners and everyone in hats, strolling the neighborhood in the sunshine, with streams of bubbles in our wake, courtesy of their Aunt Caro’s lovely array of goodies in their Easter Baskets. We picked up seed pods to plant at home (and later did, with the cute frog-handled fork-and-trowel sets from their baskets), As we walked, they grabbed a handful of limp violets from a crack in the sidewalk, the littlest two pointing endlessly skyward in amazement at birds or fluff or just a sunglint flying past. We came home to ice cream cones on the patio---our junior hostess scattering sprinkles grandly with a lavish hand, like FairyDust in the sunshine.

Later, we went back out again with two reinforcements, when my dear DIL and our other little one who live nearby joined us after work; we chose a new assortment of hats (feathers on mine a la Carrie Bradshaw's I-wore-a-BIRD-on-my-head wedding chapeau), and trooped around the blocks once more. Then we gathered for a big dinner of steak and burgers and little-corn-with-handles, courtesy of Ganner and his Magical Grill.

And when their parents went out for a late movie date, I sat with the monitor and a book, listening to see if they needed me. Our little guy whimpered once, then started to wail; I went up, brought him downstairs, and he slumped softly against me into sleep before I got to the rocking chair. I just sat there in the quiet for a long time, holding that precious warm bit of our future in my arms as he breathed against my neck.

And now, there's a lone tattoo-filled egg forgotten in a chair, a small sock beneath the children's table, the camera cooling down from its days of red-hot service, my tear-stained hanky waved long and fervently in the driveway, and the Cool-Whip on the carpet will endure forever. Amen.


Southern Lady said...

How beautiful, Rachel ... that's the stuff memories are made of, and I know your grandbabies will treasure them as much as you do.

Tonja said...

It sounds just magical! Oh, my goodness, you have such a way with words! I love to read your posts. I feel as if I have lived it right along with you. You are a treasure! And, I am sure your grandchildren think so, too. I bet they are telling all their little friends about how special it was to be at your house and do so many fun things. Glad it was all you hoped it would be!

Rebecca said...

Best. Post. Ever.

racheld said...

It was one of the best visits ever---I'm glad Y'all enjoyed it. They'll be back in the Summer for a couple of weeks, so there will be more and more, I'm sure.

They're on their way next week to "DizzlyWorld" and I feel as if I've just been.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful!! And I can't wait til I can write the same kind of story. Soon, soon!

Sparrowgrass Hill awaits the new family member, coming in October.