I'm heading home today with some treasured memories from four fun filled days with the band of brothers living the small town country life in Oregon. We had our adventure to the land of Chuckie Jesus, as I shared a couple of days ago. We played board games, planted our seeds, held multiple timed races around the huge kitchen island, did a few chores and some homework.
There were quite a few lively discussions, ranging from just how old someone thought a certain substitute teacher was, to identifying the guilty party that "tooted" in the car, as well as a couple of short conversations about what Ralph was doing at any given time of the day after he headed home for his work week to begin.
We celebrated the youngest brother's successes on the potty with skittles numerous times. (He's got this!) I found out that the seven year old thinks both his Mommy and I have gotten a lot older looking since her wedding pictures, nine years ago.(Okay, so his exact words were, "You and Mommy looked a lot younger in this picture!" Tomay-to, toma-to. Old.er.)
I realized the momentous impact the written word mass-printed on a cheap paper Valentine holds to a four year old.
"Cupcake, this one is from Dominic...what does it say?" he asked, as he was showing me his haul of Valentines from his one-morning-a-week-Pre-school-class.
"It says, You're my best friend, Valentine!" I replied.
"Really?! Dominic thinks I'm his best friend?! Wow! I didn't know I was his best friend!"
I wasn't about to tell him the entire class most likely received that same card from Dominic, who only picked out that pack of cards at Target because it was Ninja Turtles.)
The entire crew helped me with a marathon let's-cut-vintage-seam-binding-into-five-yard-strips for Gramma Cupcake's booth, (Free child labor is such an ugly term. I prefer assembly-line-relay-race to help Gramma Cupcake out.) and the oldest brother asked to keep the empty spools for crafting with later. (Aaaah, a boy after my own heart! I'd like to think he gets that crafter-hoarder creative gene from me.) Of course I said yes, yes, oh, most certainly yes, dear boy.
It was all too much fun, and time flew by at warp speed. I'm feeling more than a little melancholy as I think of it ending, and I am reminded of just how blessed I am, to be able to have spent this time, and make these memories with them.
Way back, in my old life, I always took for granted, and foolishly assumed that I would be the Gramma who was always able to just come and go whenever, and be available anytime. When my life suddenly changed, that scenario changed as well. Spontaneous meet-ups are not always possible, and it takes a little more pre-planning on the front end, but it makes our time together that much more precious to me.