Sunday, September 13, 2015

On the Wonder of Grubby Hands

On Friday afternoon, I helped out a colleague by watching his children while he coached a tennis match.  I see these kids most everyday and enjoy their company.  It was the end of the first week of school and G and his sister P were ready for a little rest and relaxation.  G is a second grader and P is a 4 year old.  I love kids this age and had recently been feeling a little wistful that I no longer have a little one in my care.  I figured a few hours with G and P at the end of a tiring week would cure me of this desire.

No dice.

These two amused and engaged me and reminded me - again - that childhood is fleeting and wonderful.  We started our afternoon with a little ice cream and chatting about our day.  We tried nearly every bench at Sonic while Oreo Sonic blasts were consumed.  G told me that the best part of his day was earning two caught ya’ badges in the second grade (these are badges for good actions or behavior…..going beyond expectations) and they were a huge part of JT’s life when he was in second grade.  At one point that year, JT contemplated becoming a second grade teacher so that he could hand out caught ya’ badges himself.  Parker told me that the best part of her day was that I came to pick her up after school.

I was charmed, of course.

G asked me a lot of questions, including “how old are you?” and “why isn’t JT here?” At one point, he instructed me that we needed to do some more things that were fun. 

So we went to my house and checked out the backyard.  G and P visited my garden and when they asked, I let them pick a few tomatoes.

They liked the garden and stepped carefully through the plants, asking questions all the while.  Then P decided to eat the tomato she had just picked.

For the rest of the afternoon, we petted the cats and played with some of JT’s old toys. We had some fun with the monkeys in a barrel game.   G designed a scavenger hunt and while he was hiding things, P and I sat in the rocking chair on the front porch and sang songs to one another.  I lost the scavenger hunt (G helped P and under such circumstances, she smoked me).  We had grilled cheese for supper and watched a Muppets movie, P curled up against me and resting her head on my shoulder.

I surely know as much as the next mama about how much work is involved in the daily care required by small children.  When JT was younger I had plenty of afternoons just like the one I spent with P and G.  At the time, such opportunities seemed endless.  There would be many more afternoons of wonder and smiles; questions both silly and serious; laughter and cuddling.  But childhood doesn’t last forever.  There is much to be said about the charms of a 15-year old (and heaven knows, I’ve written of them here).  But I miss having a grubby little hand to hold. 

1 comment:

S. Mitchell said...

It doesn't seem so fleeting when you are in the middle of it, but as I look at G today, I can't believe he is 7. Where does the time go when it's not around here? (And I am glad P loves tomatoes!)