Thank heavens for them! We had an extended opportunity to be with Emily and Lucy last week as Erin went into the hospital unexpectedly for the second time in two weeks . The kids stayed with us while Mike commuted from home to hospital to our house to home. Lather, rinse and repeat.
Emily is fascinated by all manner of insects and bugs. We were at a park a couple weeks ago and she was digging with a stick in the sandbox. It had rained recently and she quickly dug up a family of earth worms. She excitedly brought them over to me so I could hold them. Luckily I don't have an issue with holding worms or bugs and we poked at them to get them to move for several minutes before putting the whole family back into the sand.
This past Saturday she found a little spider on the floor of our kitchen and spent several minutes playing with it and letting it crawl on her hand and arms. While this kind of skeeves me out a bit, neither John nor I let on that spiders are something you don't usually play with. Eventually we opened the door and set it free on the deck. I don't want her thinking that she should be afraid of bugs. She already shies away from wasps and hornets since she was stung by them a couple times last year. It would be great to have her be able to handle her own spider and bug emergencies when she's grown.
Shortly thereafter, Lucy found a ladybug on the kitchen floor (honest, the floor was clean - the bug probably came in on one of the dogs) and I scooped it up and let it crawl on her pudgy little hand while we again opened the door to the deck and plopped it on the doormat.
Emily also is quite a girly girl, much to Erin's surprise. Me too, as Erin certainly was always feminine but more of the sturdy little girl variety, never as interested in high heels, princesses and long dresses as Emily is. Emily has a collection of colorful Mardi Gras beads that she has made into a long chain. She calls it her wedding veil and loops it over her head and it trails down her back. One of the strands broke on Saturday and Grandpa went to the basement to find SuperGlue and some kind of polymer to help the glue stick to the beads, fixing the strand. Emily was very appreciative of his fixing her veil. Then Grandpa found another strand that was broken but tied to look whole. Emily's quick response: "Well, why don't you just go ahead and fix that one too, Grandpa!"
Emily, Lucy and I were in the car last week going somewhere. Lucy dropped the princess book she was reading and wanted me to pick it up for her.
Me: "I can't get it Lucy, I'm driving and it would be dangerous for me to try to get it for you."
Lucy, whining: "I want to drive."
Yeah, right kid. That'll happen just after he@# freezes over in about 15 years.
On Friday evening, Mike and Erin's dad Gerry (visiting from Michigan last week) were coming for dinner. I had asked Johnnie to stay nearby as I was cooking and could use the help wrangling little girls and generally keeping things under control. It came time to light the grill. I could hear Johnnie and Emily talking in the family room (adjacent to the kitchen) and I went in to ask him to light the grill to put the salmon on. Johnnie was stretched out on the couch, Emily snuggled alongside him with his arm around her. They were spelling out words on his Touch, something they do together frequently. He looked up at me with one of those endorphin-filled Grandpa looks and a silly half smile. I went to light the grill myself. I just couldn't deny Grandpa those precious moments.
On Saturday morning, Grandpa had finished his shower and was getting dressed in our bedroom, door closed. Emily opened the door and both girls burst in. Grandpa had one leg in his shorts (not his underwear shorts, outerwear shorts). We quickly asked the girls to go back out and knock.
They closed the door and Emily knocked. Grandpa said, "Who is it?" Emily wasn't expecting that question so she didn't know what to say. Then Lucy knocked and Grandpa said, "Come in." Emily was crushed and burst into tears because Lucy got to go in and she didn't. Grandpa, with his pants securely belted and zippped, went out to find out why Emily was crying and obviously unhappy.
Grandpa: "What's the matter, Emily?"
Emily: "I'm sad."
There ensued a long conversation between them on the stairs, working Emily back from being sad. Again a precious exchange between a little girl and her grandpa. Those are the moments we'll never forget even though she'll likely never remember.