Today was the perfect antidote to yesterday's in-town stress and anxiety and resulting exhaustion. This morning Jessie texted and asked if I'd like to go to a park or the Jr. Museum with them or hiking or something and I said that yes, I would, but I'd also love to have them out here because I am lazy as hell. She said they'd like that very much and so out they came and it was just a sweet day.
August and I seemed to reach a new level in our relationship today. It started when we were in the driveway, sort of looking for treasure but sort of just hanging out. The boys had shovels and trowels and were scraping at the hard ground and finding little chips of glass and old china and I got a chair and just sat down so that Jessie and I could chat, which we did. She was sitting on the ground and August came and draped himself around her, mostly on her lap and finally she said, "August, this isn't very comfortable for me."
"Come sit on my lap," I said, patting the cushiony comfort of my legs. I was not expecting him to take me up on my offer. As I have said before, August isn't a big snuggler but up he came, and there he sat for the longest time. I scratched his back which all little children love and which actually, all of us love. I often say that we do not realize how itchy our backs are until someone scratches them for us. We are apes at heart, are we not? And as such, we don't do nearly enough social grooming. Levon came and joined us for awhile, squeezing in next to his brother and I was in complete heaven.
Eventually, it was lunch time and we all came into the house and ate various leftovers and peanut butter and honey and raisin sandwiches. Juice and graham crackers for dessert. And then it was book time. We read another two chapters of "Charlotte's Web" and "The Very Best Nest" and "Babar's Cousin: That Rascal Arthur" which we had never read and enjoyed tremendously. We agreed that it was a fine book and we were glad we'd read it. Levon had lost interest after "The Very Best Nest" and he and Jessie went out to play some more but August wanted to look at my big mermaid book again. This is a coffee table book that May got me one year for Christmas and August loves to look at all the mermaid pictures. We discussed the various mermaids from around the world and throughout history and I tried to explain what myths and legends are and we talked about the pictures and what they might mean and it reminded me so much of looking at my grandfather's big National Geographic book about early man. Granddaddy didn't read it to me- it was way too dense for a child of my age- but we talked about the pictures and what they might mean. A magical place from which my imagination to leap and I still remember that with a fierce fondness.
I felt that way today with August. Like we were making a bond or strengthening a bond that has been forming between us since he was born but which has had to be nurtured slowly and organically. I never want to be a granny who demands kisses or hugs. That is wrong on so many levels. Nor do I want to pretend to be a character whom I am not in order to please children. I want my relationships with my grandchildren to be like my relationships with my children and my friends- based on our real selves and a mutual enjoyment of our company together. Otherwise- what's the point?
But okay, yeah, yeah. I do give them M&M's as a going-away treat because I want them to love me so I need to get off my high horse and admit that truth.
I am a grandma after all.
No worries about his imagination.
And then Levon added something about "toots" to the conversation which I am sure was hysterical because toots are never not funny.