I awoke on January 1st , fully aware that we would all go our separate ways after Brent’s hearty brunch. The little ones wore their look-alike hoodies, the Moms and Dads stripped beds and packed suitcases.
Dave’s Mom used to say of Shakespeare’s quote “Parting is such sweet sorrow,” that she had yet to find the sweet. Mom’s insights stayed quite keen until her death at age 94. She was the daughter of missionaries to Japan and the wife of a man who also went to Tokyo to minister the gospel. Her three grown sons lived in Texas, North Carolina, and Maryland. This lady knew lots about saying good-bye.
My morning solace came form the fact that Austyn Grace (AG, like her great-grandfather) would stay on with us. For how long? Grandpa and I had no idea how long a 4 1/2 -year-old would stay away from her folks and Sissy. We hoped to make the Georgia trip on Thursday, but this was Sunday morning!
As I pondered the time we’d had together, I realized that all the activities Dave and I had hoped to accomplish had occurred — except for the one-horse open sleigh ride. But there simply hadn’t been enough snow to go to Pleasant Valley Dream Rides for that experience. Perhaps at some future Christmas gathering that would occur. ..
But there was one other craft project planned, and with everyone’s help, we could create a memory of this Christmas with the girls at these ages. I had molds for flower-shaped stepping stones that I planned to place in the garden this spring. Out on the lower porch, Dave mixed the quick-setting concrete , immediately ramping up AG’s excitement. She is truly our little “crafter.”
Grandpa poured, Becky leveled the concrete, and the parents helped their little ones make a hand print and then decorate the stepping stone with colorful stones I had purchased at the craft store.
Dave and I stood back and just watched as the parents helped their offspring to varying degrees.
Our sons and their wives laughed about what their daughters would have to say to them when the girls grew up and saw their very early artistic endeavors out in Grandma and Grandpa’s garden.
I tried to absorb the laughter, hoping to store it away for the quiet winter days ahead.
By 12:30, we exchanged hugs, then watched the four adults and two toddlers somehow wedge themselves into the rental van. AG and I headed for the hot tub downstairs, with her asking for yet another Big Bad Bart story. I complied, telling a tale very sad tale that allowed me to pass off some tears as hot tub steam.
No one’s sadness can last long in AG’s presence! As soon as she got out of the hot tub, she dressed and danced in the bubbles that drifted over the bridge. We headed to Brenda’s for a late lunch and then to Walmart for more bubble solution!
Grandpa held her when she missed her family, but she quickly fell asleep that night with the weather channel ‘s predictions for snow on Monday. I whispered in her ear a line from Because He Loves Me. “A truth that must be pressed into our consciousness every moment of every day: I am a child of God.”