Written by Cathy
Being retired has it’s ups and downs, but this summer I have had more than my share of ups. That is because I was able to spend a great deal of time with my very active, very entertaining grand kids. I am fortunate that I’ve been present to see and hear some of the most entertaining moments of the summer. Since they never fail to bring a smile to us, I’d like to share a few with you.
By the way, the kids refer to me as Gigi, and to my husband as Dzaidzai (pronounced Jojee)
Gigi: Good morning, Chloe. Did you sleep well?
Chloe: I had a good dream.
Gigi: What was it about?
Chloe, incredulously: Gigi, did you forget? You know! You were in it!
Dzaidzai, pointing to a narrow spiral staircase: Look at those steps, Chloe. Aren’t they neat?
Chloe: Dzaidzai, they would be easy to go up, but hard to come down.
After a very long hot day at a family reunion, John and I were ready to leave the park. We looked around to say good-bye to the kids, but they were busy on the monkey bars, so we turned to the parking lot.
“Gigi!” Chloe called with all her might. I turned to see her running towards me, her little arms pumping. Big brother Noah was closing in from behind. As they both encircled me, Noah explained, “We just needed to give you one more hug.”
In the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit the following exchange actually happened last summer when Chloe was just 2 1/2, but it so tickled our funny bones that I thought I’d share it with you. We were visiting the Cape May Lighthouse Museum, which features all sorts of marine life. As Chloe pointed to each display case, Dzaidzai would name the animal; that’s a seagull, that’s a crab, that’s a shark’s tooth, and so on. Then Chloe pointed to a beaver that was posed by a gnawed log right at the door of the museum. “And that?” “Oh, that’s just a beaver,Chloe.” With all seriousness Chloe replied, “No, Dzaidzai, that NOT Justin Bieber.”
This summer we also witnessed Sylvie’s first tentative efforts at crawling, one shaky knee forward after the other.
She was my wake-up buddy and her grandfather’s napping pal.Together we were book-ends to her busy days.
Noah grew by leaps and bounds, too. He became a real beach bum, leaping over waves, diving under white-caps, scooping up sand crabs.
In the pool, he worked on perfecting his swim strokes while making friends of strangers with his ready smile.
I am thankful for these moments. As a young mother with a demanding teaching schedule, I always looked forward to time spent with my growing-too-fast kids. But all mothers know that household maintenance and other life demands rob us of some of that valuable time. As John Lennon so aptly put it, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.” So this is my do-over. Now I can slow down. I can walk at the same pace as Chloe. I can study things as intently as Noah. Sylvie’s newness is my newness, too. So this is one transition I will treasure.