Trundle bed pulled out and arranged, towels in the guest bathroom laid out, back patio tables and chairs washed and ready, a couple of lawn chairs set out front in the driveway for watching the kids on their bicycles. A trip to the grocery store and a full shopping cart later, I was pretty sure I had everything I'd need in the kitchen for two hungry kids and another adult. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, more cereal, some chips, ice cream, a few treats for the kids. I think I have it all covered.
They arrived early afternoon on Thursday, their joyful laughter, chatter, even their sibling tussles music to my ears! Soon the living room was taken over with all things grandchild.
Friday morning I'd made arrangements to bring one of my motorcycles over to the dealers' for consignment sale. The family followed in their SUV and afterward, with me changed into shorts and sandals, we headed to Sonic to pick up lunch and then had a picnic in the shade at the Westside Event Center playground near my house. Between bites of their hamburgers, the two kids ran off and played while Christina and I chatted and discussed plans for the rest of the weekend. It was so pleasant there in the shade of the winged canopies and concrete bench, watching all the children delighting in the coolness of the "splash pad," sharing on the teeter-totter, and just enjoying themselves with abandon.
But leave we must, to put the littlest one down for a nap. Trevor and I snuck off in my car to go back to the dealer's to deliver the motorcycle title, and then to Cold Stone Creamery for a little treat. We sat outside in the shade in front of the shop and enjoyed our ice creams while Trevor told me about his life as a 5 year old. This little tête á tête gave his mom and sister a quiet respite and chance to grab a nap.
A late afternoon visit to the pool was a definite must!! Trevor showed me his new swimming skills!
By dinnertime, we had two exhausted little munchkins on our hands! Playing at the playground....swimming in the pool... It was crash time in front of a movie after dinner.
Saturday morning, up bright and early, we all headed for the Houston Museum of Natural Science, with dinosaurs and butterflies on our agenda. Trevor was totally enthralled by the vast collection of dinosaur skeletons, Mimi not so much. In fact, Mimi not at all! We had a cry fest on our hands until Christina took her out of the dinosaur hall, while Trevor and I stayed behind so that he could tell me all about each one...their names, what they looked like, what they ate, as only a 5 year old boy could do. He was really rockin' on those dinosaurs! A museum volunteer came over and handed Trevor a reddish-brown ovoid object that was about 7-8" long and asked him to guess what it was. Of course Trevor had no idea...neither did I. It was dinosaur poop! Or, rather, petrified dinosaur poop, now turned into stone. Well, that totally grossed Trevor out, but in a cool, 5-year-old-boy sort of way!
We all caught up with each other at the giant pendulum then moved on to the Cockrell Butterfly Exhibit, much to Mimi's delight.
|Cochran butterfly pavilion, at Museum of Natural History|
Brief showers cooled things down a tiny bit in the late afternoon and the two kids enjoyed riding their bicycles around grandma's cul-de-sac...the perfect place to ride!
It was a "bubbly" Sunday morning as we sat outside on the patio on this pleasant morning, chasing bubbles from a new bubble maker. It was an impulse buy when Christina made a quick replenishment run to the grocery store and to Starbucks and Pearland Roasters' this morning. It was nice to relax outside with family and just enjoy the granddaughter and the morning latte.
|The simple joy of blowing bubbles!|
Rains moved in just a little while later, sending everyone indoors for an early lunch and a nap for Mimi. This afternoon was our Player's Club annual summer Melodrama production, corny and funny and just right to hold a five-year-old's attention. But would it hold Mimi's...and did she get a long enough nap to be cheery and not fall apart later in the afternoon? We decided to give it a try and to all go see the play together.
Popcorn and lemonade were served to the audience and the kids couldn't have been happier or better behaved! Trevor thoroughly enjoyed the play, laughing out loud hysterically at all the right places and at nearly all the slapstick jokes, and booing and applauding on cue. Mimi was content to eat her popcorn and draw pictures with crayons and paper. It was a perfectly pleasant way to spend a rainy afternoon!
I had dinner cooking in the crockpot all afternoon, so all I had to do was round it out with veggies, biscuits from the oven, and we would be ready to eat. Christina used my final dinner prep time to start loading her car with what she could. I knew that we were nearing the end of our visit, and was already feeling the sadness that accompanies an empty, quiet house that always happens whenever their car leaves the driveway. One last dinner together, one last round of "good nights."
They're gone now...fed, packed up, and getting a morning start after breakfast and heading east on I-10. I'll miss them, but I also know I will find little bits of "evidence" of their visit. And I already have. A pair of Trevor's underpants tangled in the bedding and discovered as I put the sheets into the washer. An "ABC" cup left behind in the dishwasher. A random children's book left where last being read. The large stuffed lion still front and center in the living room, waiting for a grandchild to climb onboard. And a bouquet of roses, somewhat faded now, hand-picked by Mimi and still gracing my breakfast table, a sweet remembrance of their visit.