On Being a Parent: Spring Things
My son called me earlier this week with good and bad news. Holding my breath, I told him, “Give me the bad news first.”
Jason took a deep breath and started.
“Ashley won’t be staying with you the four days like we planned. I tried to work our schedules out, but it just won’t happen.”
My heart sank. Though my husband had wondered how we could entertain our six-year-old granddaughter almost round the clock, I had delighted in coming up with things to do to keep this rambunctious child entertained. I had planned a trip to the Hattiesburg Zoo; a unique blanket party a few feet from our patio, hopefully with fireflies joining us, waiting for the stars to show up; a tea party; another famous “Ashley” manicure and pedicure where she applies every color nail polish I have; and of course, an evening of making cookies to give Dad on his return trip to take her home.
Somehow we were going to have to find time to read her favorite books and a few hours to shop for frilly girly things and have a milkshake together at her favorite spot. Fortunate for me, there’s no time limit on these activities. We can do them anytime, with the exception of that personal rendezvous with the stars.
After having three sons in our home, it is such a delight to see pink pajamas showing from under the bed covers early in the morning, or having a forgotten hair ribbon show up after a granddaughter visit. As a matter of fact I can’t think of many nicer things in the world than granddaughters and springtime, unless its daughters and springtime.
I remember as a young parent with three boys, hearing mothers fuss about their daughters always in their closets, playing with their shoes or getting into their makeup or jewelry. I would shake my head and think, “What’s the problem! You have a daughter!”
My mother spent weeks in March and early April preparing me and my two little sisters for Easter Sunrise Services. It started with placing orders in a catalog for the material to make our dresses of pastel colors. Late Saturday evening she would iron her creations and have them ready
for early morning. We loved feeling pretty, with the promise of springtime and summer stretching ahead of us.
There’s just something about spring. My son, Erick and his wife Sara, are counting the days until the snow is gone at their northern home. In the meantime, I send them photos of our lovely azaleas in full bloom, all the while telling them they can do payback when they send photos of lush scenic mountain hikes in mid-70s weather, as we swelter in 90 degree-plus temps.
A new season seems to bring an extra bundle of energy with it. It’s almost as if everything is put to music as butterflies fly and flowersopen, all to claim, “We’re back!”
Life gets so busy, but spring’s mild weather should prompt us to plan a weekend or day trip into nature with the family. It’s invigorating! It is really not a bad idea, either, to do the blanket thing out under the stars. I never did that with my sons, but I wish I had. It’s true: grandkids give you a second chance to delve into the things you didn’t think of with your own children. But don’t wait!
The good news I received along with the bad that early morning is that I will at least get a long weekend visit with our granddaughter at some point in April. I’ll settle for that. I plan to go “waste some time” as some might see it, but I’ve learned better. These will be days I can’t recall once they are spent.
Go live your spring, 2017 family story filled with work, obligations, aggravations, and planned springtime activities. The kids will never forget.
“In this time of ‘information overload,’ people don’t need more information. They want a story they can relate to.” –Maarten Schafer, inspirational speaker, storyteller
By Antje Hill