Family is in town, and my house is filled with children.
From ages almost four months to 17 years. Filled.
And much to the delight of my little guy, the male to female ratio took a serious turn in his favor.
Today there has been the stuff that seems to echo my own childhood memories. Running around inventing fun ways of playing hide and go seek, chasing each other around the house, in the house, through the house, out of the house. Singing and dancing their hearts out to oldies but goodies. Playing out adventure stories in the backyard. Laughing over and over again until they can’t breathe over the Funniest. Words. Ever.
“A naked mole rat. It’s a mole rat. Naked.”
Every single time people. Can’t make this stuff up.
Oh my stars.
This afternoon as they were in the back corner of our yard where the water tends to collect when we’ve had a lot of rain, they began to see frogs–all sizes. The cute itty bitty ones all the way up to the granddaddy sized ones. The smaller ones they were collecting just for fun, to be released a short time later. This, my friends, is the stuff that summer and fun with cousins is all about. What could be more fun than playing together all day, crashing out for a little while after lunch, watching something on tv to cool down, playing hard again, and then after the day is done, crawling into beds in rooms right next to each other? I love summer and children and family.
But then it happened. Oh it was already in the works. When my BABY sister turned 40 on Monday, I knew it was only a matter of time before I felt myself getting older…..maybe even acting like Mama a little more. But no, I somehow took an “Evil Knievel” jump over the Grand Canyon and went straight to a place that I was not expecting.
Today I heard my Granny’s words.
Coming out of MY mouth.
How did that even happen, okay?
When we were younger, playing at Granny’s, she would often tell us, “Be particular.” I can specifically remember it with regards to the Matchbox cars we would take outside to drive alongside and park in our toadhouses. But she said it about other things too. Be particular. Great advice.
And so in the chaos that comes from the best of family get togethers and the excitement that comes from cousins who are crazy about each other coming together for the first time in almost a year…..I said it. I don’t even remember about what. And the what isn’t even important. The point is, today, a time or two, I became my Granny. And while I love and adore her and miss her everyday, I was not quite ready to become her. Shoot, I’m not even ready to look in the mirror and see my Mama, though I have to admit I see the transition more and more…..*sigh*…..and more. Is anyone ever ready to do the one thing they swore they’d never do–turn into their own mother?
I called my Aunt and told her about it. When I asked her how it happened, she said, “Well, look at what can happen when you’re not paying attention.” And we laughed. That’s funny right there. I thought I was being supervigilant, but that one slipped right by me. Wonder what else I’ve missed?
There’s a sign that goes up for a week every summer. It sits proudly with its handwritten letters next to a mailbox at the end of a long drive not far from Blackberry Flats where my parents lived. It proclaims that it is “Granny Camp” time. I love it. It never fails to make me smile that someone loves their grandchildren so much and is crazy enough to take that on. It reminds me of my own Granny’s “camp,” though that’s hardly what it was called back then. Some of us in my family have talked about this sign and the story behind it–wonder where her grandchildren live, what kinds of things does she do, could I be her grandchild for a week and sign up? Just your normal everyday questions.
At one point, I even wondered if it was a camp FOR Grannies. You know, one where for one week out of the year, they gather and brag about their kin and tell stories and learn creative ways to love on their littles and bigs and bake all kinds of treats and biscuits. Because Grannies and Maemaes and all those like them simply MUST know how to make the best biscuits. It’s like a prerequisite or something. Maybe Granny camp is where they hone their skills before they head back into the world of play and telling stories and whooping it up like there’s no tomorrow.
I’m thinking next week is going to seem really quiet around here and a bit sad. We will miss our family and it will be hard to let them go. Maybe to cheer myself up and get ready for their next visit, I should check out Granny Camp. Maybe it will be all that I’ve imagined and I can share my stories and laugh with women who are strong, whose love is even stronger, and whose wisdom is immeasurable. And though I’m not a full-fledged card-carrying member yet, maybe they will let me in as an apprentice? After all, I think I already know the password. And said it. Today. More than once. Got it from my Granny. “Be particular.”