Enjoying the calm, after the storm

By Joanne Peterson | Apr 10, 2014

I’m propped up on my couch, laptop computer leaning against my knees. I am yawning, and it feels good to have my feet up. It’s 4 p.m. Sunday, and all is calm – now.

I just finished getting my kitchen in order, dishwasher loaded, food put away. An hour or so ago, my daughter Lisa and her two children headed home, following one final celebration of my brother’s birthday.

I love visits from my daughter and her family. They don’t get to Edmonds often. Between precious at-home time with their children and each other, with two careers and a house to maintain and a yard to care for and charity events and the children’s play dates and swim lessons and and and… well, that’s just the way it is for young families.

Today, my son-in-law Eric was occupied with a lengthy bike ride; he’s working on getting in shape for summer, so Lisa and the children were on their own.

Many weeks after breaking a bone in her foot, Lisa continues to stump around in a rigid boot; she is matter-of-fact about it, except when she admits to worrying that she could not run fast enough to quickly rescue her children if they required rescuing! Now her doctor is considering an MRI of the foot, wondering whether there is ligament or other additional damage. No bike rides for Lisa any time soon.

But back to today’s visit – adorable grandchildren, Abby and Adam, ages 3 and 5, played sweetly in my small living room with the toys provided by their grandma. They shared. They hugged one another. They came to the table when called. They were adorable. They were cute and funny and smart and delightful. Oh, wait.

My grandchildren also screamed and grabbed and hit and pushed one another. They wrestled toys away from one another and ran away from the shrieking sibling pursuing them. They found fault with the menu—except for Uncle Warren’s chocolate birthday cake.

Their mother intervened occasionally, when it was clear that someone was being injured or that the noise level was inappropriate for Uncle Warren’s birthday celebration. (Poor Warren!)

I distracted them from combat by coaxing Abby to come to the kitchen to help me set the table. Abby let go of Adam’s Lego airplane and joined me—her idea of helping was to lie on the floor in front of the refrigerator drawing on a slate, humming. That helped! If you’ve been in my kitchen, you know how small it is, but I loved having my little girl underfoot.

Later, briefly visiting at Uncle Warren’s condo, down the block, Abby and Adam wandered into his kitchen. Abby announced, “I’m hungry.” Adam – predictably – said, “So am I.” And their mother said, “That’s interesting.” She grinned at me, explaining, “It’s amazing how often that’s all they need to hear.”

Sure enough, the children immediately resumed stalking Uncle Warren’s cat, who cleverly disappeared under the couch. I’ll bet all of us, including the cat, sleep well tonight.

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