Every Thursday (unless my children we were sick) we would pile in our car and make the two hour drive north to visit my Grandmother in Massachusetts. It was our ritual. I would load up with dvds, diapers and bottles and spend three or four hours visiting. I enjoyed making Gram grilled cheese sandwiches, which for some reason she felt were better than anyone else's. Her tuna fish was outstanding. We would drink tea, watch the girls swim or ride their trikes or just build with Lincoln Logs. When she was well we would take walks up to her church and show the girls the field that bears the name of my Grandfather on the dedication plaque. When she was not, we would rock and talk on her favorite glider. Then we would pack our stuff up, and head home. The girls would often be asleep before we were on the highway, offering me two hours of peace and solitude, alone with my memories of the day.
I resented school for taking this time away from me when Grace turned 5 and went to Kindergarten. No longer could we make our weekly trek. I not only missed Grace when she was away from me, I missed my Gram. Every school holiday we would go. But it was not quite the same as our Thursday trips.
I am so glad I took this time for my girls to spend with their Great-Grandmother. Grace is her namesake after all. My Gram was able to see them grow and change from infants to toddlers, to little girls and finally before her passing, to young ladies. My girls remember her with love and we speak of her often.
Now I have the opportunity to once again jump in the car, this time minus the diaper bags, bottles and dvds. My Gram is no longer on this earth, but I am so lucky to have a close relationship with my Aunt who is now retired and able to play on a Thursday! And play we did. The girls played with an amazing handmade wooden gear set, following the diagrams to create interesting gear loops. They created log cabins with the Lincoln Logs they have been using since they were old enough to hold the logs. We played a few rounds of Blokus, which I am thrilled that my girls finally understand! We also shared in stories told by my Aunt and Uncle of their recent trip to Alaska. My girls are now convinced our family MUST take a cruise. Actually, I sorta am too!
It was liberating to be on a road trip just me and the girls while the rest of the world is in school. How lucky we are. Tomorrow we will make up for the missed math and writing we did not accomplish today. I did bring their binders, but there were never opened. That is okay. There will be time to make up the missed work tomorrow. Today was about a different kind of learning.
Learning to appreciate family. Learning to look to others for wisdom and guidance. Learning that love comes from many people. Understanding how blessed we are for all the love we are given. That kind of learning is just as valuable as the learning that comes from books and texts. Especially given the conversations we have had this week about sisterhood, family and respect.
Today was a good day.
|Gram with Grace in 2000|
|Gram with Lilah in 2002|