I am visiting three of my five grandchildren at the moment, daughter Shelby’s children: Elias 4, Ada 2 and Willa 8 months. Shelby and Padraic and daughter Willa are attending a wedding in Albany, NY this weekend, leaving Elias and Ada here with me. My two other granddaughters Claire and Emily have almost grown up (13 and 10) in CA while I was in Maryland. I’ve not ever had a chance until this weekend to actually be with my grandchildren without Mom and Dad in attendance.

First, I will say its been over 30 years since I’ve lived with a 2 and 4 year old (minus the 16 year old brother my children had at the time). It is a challenge because you forget how much they talk (some of which you can’t understand because you’ve not been around them). Also, are they eating enough? Although, my back tells me Ada weighs more than I thought! Elias asking whether everything we talk about “Is it happy or sad?” This can apply to bugs, manure, fish we’re eating, fish that a penguin in Happy Feet is eating, a tree, a house, a tire swing, vegetables, horses, you get the point.

But all that’s far overshadowed by Elias giving kisses and hugs when you least expect it, listening to his repertoire of loud noises, telling me about the garden, him not being afraid to hold the baby snake in the pumpkin patch (it was either a gopher snake or coachwhip snake) – I was trying to be brave.

Then there’s Ada-the organized little mother. She usually knows where lost baby puppy is (Elias’ stuffy) or where the dog bowl is hiding, and generally loves to clean up toys. She carried the colander to the garden yesterday (it’s a hike for short little legs), “me caay it”, then helped to pick lettuce, cucumbers, kale, peas, tomatoes, scallions and carrots. I offered to take over carrying the now full colander, but still it was “No, I caay it myself”.

When I was babysitting, it was for Elias and Ada, as baby Willa traveled with Mom and Dad, but I’m adding her picture:




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