Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Granny Camp Good-Byes

There’s nothing much harder than getting back in the groove of our real rhythm after the constant excitement of kids. When my own children would go to visit their father in the summer, I’d close off their rooms so as not to miss them so badly. As long as their doors were closed, I could pretend that they were only sleeping, not gone.

Even though we housed Ginette, Solomon, Kathleen, Caleb and max in our RV, they still infused our lives and home with all manner of energy. It won’t help that I don’t have to see the inside of the empty RV; I’ll miss the daily delights that they provided in our home and in our lives.

While life has given us more surprises than we care to count; kids bring the kinds of surprises on which we thrive. I love to see my own life through the lenses of those who see every moment as an adventure to be embraced. Who knew there were crawfish to be caught in our creek, or that only certain salamanders are indigenous to our area? Max never gave up on looking for a crawfish big enough to boil.

A museum is just a collection of stuff until seen through a child’s eyes. Who else could be so fascinated by a phone booth or an ancient tooth? Watching children in the water is to observe absolute freedom from the laws of gravity and girth. The big kids can be carried around by the little kids, and you never know who will best whom in a battle.

Now that our nieces and nephews have come and gone, there’s no one to look forward to greeting me in the morning with the anticipation of a new adventure every day. Our breakfasts will go back to basics with no excuse to fire up the waffle iron or pancake griddle. There will be no Caleb drawing dinosaurs with tutoring from a big brother Solomon on how many toes each type had. We won’t have any little fingers flying along our keyboard, or Kathleen’s lilting voice reading original verse.

We also won’t have zucchini muffins exploding out of little faces, or ice cream bowls becoming projectiles across our table. There will be no more blood-curdling screams because of unseen anthills being stepped on, or in-depth analysis of every morsel of food presented at a meal. White bread will become a thing of the past, as will daily dessert.

Richard loves routine; I always anticipate surprises -- to the point that I can’t get comfortable with rituals or routine. It’s easier to live on the edge than to get good and comfortable only to have the rug ripped out from under me. Having families with parents enjoying their children while we take care of the basic needs creates an atmosphere of controlled chaos that’s a pure joy to share – all of the fun with none of the responsibility. It’s like being a big sister again.