We had a whirlwind visit with the whole family this weekend, and a hectic, fast visit is much better than no visit. Calvin and Julie and the boys arrived from Atlanta after midnight Friday night, and Josh and Bentley, coming from Virginia, rolled into Baxley even later than that. Naturally, today when Julie told the boys it was time to go home, they weren’t ready. Grandpa and I weren’t either. Spring Break’s not too far away. Maybe we can wait that long, but we aren’t certain.
My sister Sarah Nell joined us by day, bringing treats for the boys and the dogs. We celebrated March birthdays while everyone was home. The thin layer chocolate cake was for Josh’s birthday, and Stuart had a black magic one, his absolute favorite. We had enough chocolate around here to keep us all hyper the whole weekend. I looked at our 4 grandsons gathered around the table and realized again how fast the years pass away. I can hardly believe that 21 candles are aflame on Stuart’s birthday cake. Where’s the toddler that loved to swing in the backyard with me? And the 9-year-old who always wanted to go by Walmart for a new Transformer?
Saturday afternoon, the 3 little boys helped Grandpa gather vegetables from the garden. Three-year-old Will lugged in a green cabbage so big he could hardly carry it. Jakey brought a red one. Trey brought a bowl of green onions and each boy had his very own carrots, which we washed for immediate eating.
Saturday evening I discovered that we needed milk and a couple of other things. Ten people in the house go through a lot of milk.
When I asked the boys if they’d like to go to Walmart with me, Trey replied, “Ooh, they have toys at Walmart, don’t they? We want to go.”
Jakey looked at his mother and said, “Mom, we’re going with Grandma to Walmart. You just stay here and rest.”
They weren’t too happy when they found out that Mom was indeed going, too, but they were pleased to ride in Grandma’s car. Jakey no longer needs a booster seat, and Trey hasn’t needed one in quite a while. We installed Will’s seat in the car and him in it and were off on our quest.
Once at Walmart, we shopped for play shoes. Jakey and Will wanted shoes with flashing lights, but Trey has gotten far too “old” for them. He chose plain black sneakers that contrasted sharply with his brothers’ lights-and-teeth shoes. The minute we had shoes in the cart, Trey asked, “Grandma, can we go look at toys now. You noticed that we were really good picking out shoes, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” Jakey piped up, “we were probably good enough to earn at least a small toy.”
Obviously, Stuart passed the torch to his little brothers. We bought Legos and Halo action figures in addition to the milk we actually went for. When we got back home, the boys volunteered to help bring in groceries.
While they were visiting, Jakey helped me make Kool-aid, and Trey loaded the dishwasher. Little Will’s announcement may have called the most attention to the flying years though.
We were looking at the picture of him and me on my Facebook page when he observed, “Grandma, that’s my baby picture. I’m a big boy now. I even go to the potty all by myself. Look. I have on big-boy drawers.”
“You do?” I asked, feigning surprise.
“Yes, I’d better go right now,” he said, sliding off my lap. “When I come back, I’ll need 3 Skittles. I still like potty candy. Make that 4,” he said, holding up 4 fingers. “I want red ones,” he said, over his shoulder as he ran down the hall.
Toddlers always run. They’re in such a hurry and have an unlimited store of energy. Right behind him ran Charlie the dog, nipping at his pants. Will just giggled and ran faster.
Now they’ve all gone home. Charlie’s moping on the hearth, and the house is much too quiet. As I sit gazing out the window, I realize again that my family is my greatest blessing. I feel fortunate and even though I haven’t yet put the house back in order from this visit, I can hardly wait for the next one.