“It feels like my heart and my thumb changed places,” five-year-old Sloane says carefully guarding her injured digit.
I can’t help but laugh. She can be a little dramatic, this one.
“Can you get us a tissue?” I ask her older cousin.
“I don’t need it! It stopped bleeding.”
The blood has bubbled up on the end of her thumb where she scraped the skin off.
“Just in case,” I respond.
Finn tries to squeeze in on the other side, so I shimmy over, and the three of us snuggle on the couch. On the coffee table in front of us sits a present.
“You can open it Grandma,” Finn offers. “It’s for you.”
“I’ll wait till everyone is else is here. I am their Mom, you know.”
“It’s because of you that we are here,” Finn says, and then remembers my mom. “Actually it’s Great-Grandma.”
“Right. What if my mom didn’t have me?”
“Then we wouldn’t be here!” Finn’s eyes are wide.
“That’s something to think about, isn’t it?”
“It sure is!” says Sloane. “That’s weird.”
Two-year-old August appears and immediately starts to unwrap the present.
“No!” We all chorus, laughing at the baby’s antics.
She climbs onto the couch beside her sister and pretends to sleep, snoring noisily. We join in the game.
Being a grandmother is the best. Removed from the constant deadlines, worries, and obligations of parenting, I am free to just soak in each precious moment.
Dinner is ready and we file outside, into the sunlight, and find a seat at the table. Adult hands join in to fill up plates and I go off to find drinks for the girls. It’s a beautiful day, and the first BBQ of the season.
Still eating her hamburg, August slides down off her chair and reaches for my hand.
“Come play, Gamma.”
There’s a gravel path beside the deck, with odd shaped patio stones laid randomly offering a walkway. The older girls are hopping from stone to stone trying to avoid the gravel. August, still holding onto my hand, is walking along the second step which wraps around the deck.
“Careful,” she says in a sing-song voice. “Careful, August.”
We play till I am so tired, I need to rest, and I say my good-byes and go in search of Grumpa, who has disappeared. He is asleep on the couch in the family room. I seek out the couch in the living room and put my feet up.
Finn follows me in.
“What are you doing, Grandma?”
“Having a rest.”
She plops down next to me and leans in. Sloane appears and sits on the large lazy boy across the room.
“Play with me Finn?”
Auggie shows up and wants up too. The lazy boy spins on its base and the girls giggle and squeal. The rest of the family pours in. It is time for everyone to go home. Grumpa is still sleeping. I wake him up so that we can leave my son and his wife to their peace. It has been a full day.
“Thanks again for having us,” I hug them; “and enjoy the quiet.”
I put the seat back down and close my eyes on the way home. Processing the events of the day, I smile.
I am feeling very blessed.