It started out to be just dinner and a movie, not in the romantic notion…but with our three chipmunks who live close to us. What ensued turned out to b e a most memorable time. It all began quite innocently with the girls coming over and watching grandma prepare their dinner. They helped and the fun began. Georgia, the oldest almost fell over laughing when Pam asked me where I was going. I told her I was going to get the two chairs she wanted. As so often before…her face turned to an exasperated look as she corrected me with, “I didn’t say two chairs, Greg…. I said, Would you get me some carrots”. At this Georgia is bent over laughing. She always saying “Turn Your hard of hearing aids up Poppie….Can you hear me now?” She absolutely loves to tease me, just like my son Ben does so well. I LOVE IT!!! The evening progressed and our littlest bug, Tessa recounted that when they were coming over to our house she saw a guy driving beside them with his window open and smoke billowing out. She informed all of us with her proclamation as she put it, “He was obviously cigaretting”. Thanks for the clarification, Miss T. She was full of information…letting us in on the fact that she was now playing basketball with the “Lady Krogers”, To which her dear sister Blythe, the middle chippie, corrected her by saying “it’s not the Lady Krogers, T-ball…It’s the Lady COUGARS”. Once more belly laughing ensued.
Later we were discussing what our favorite food was, and we were trying to qualify what that meant, and in what context. So I came up with this scenario about what would your last meal be if you were on death row. Without a pause, Blythe said…”I believe I’d want a buffet. Now I’m rolling on the floor. This is the same girl who made a quick response when we were driving in the car with Georgia and herself and I mentioned the word compliant. Blythe asked me what the word compliant meant. I told them that it meant to comply with and/or honor their parent’s wishes. In short to do what their parents asked them to do. I continued with…”I’d be interested to know who was the most compliant of you two? And without any hesitation, Blythe responded, “I’m going to have to go with me on this one, Poppie”.
The movie of the evening was “A Christmas Story” and grandma gave us a 10-question test about the movie. I wiped everyone out on this quiz because as Pam put it…”Well he better win, he’s seen it about 50 times. Georgia snapped…Well there some perks for being 100 years old. She laughs…but I won. As the movie went on the girls took their turns cuddling with Pam and me, wiggling around and watching in different sitting and laying positions. Throughout the movie, Poppie’s phone was a major hit. All three of them were playing with an app that distorted their faces, changed their voices, put funny designs on their faces, and all with different backgrounds. Between the dialogue of the movie and giggling at each different funny picture or video they’d taken …there was continuous merriment and entertainment. These are the moments we live for. We know we have to seize them. Georgia will be driving in two years and the youthful exuberance will soon transition into the realities of more difficult issues for each of them. This isn’t uncommon knowledge to anyone…but it’s bittersweet.
Pretty soon Georgia said, “”Poppie, could we have another sleepover here?” Pam and I said we’d love that. Georgia continued…” How about tonight?” We had nothing to do the next day so we said sure. The kids handed me the phone and asked me to ask their mom and dad. I called, and we got the okay, and the evening took off again. At the end of the movie, it was makeup lessons for them with Grandma which was held in our bathroom. “See you later, Poppie” was my cue to go to my writing room and vanish. I complied and the girls had a ball with grandma. I went to bed at 10:00. Pam went to bed at 12:00, Tessa went to bed at 1:00 and Blythe and Georgia went to bed at 2:00. The oldest two confessed to an assortment of petty candy and soda crimes and malfeasance perpetrated while their two very innocent grandparents were in sweet repose. There’s no telling the sugar intake that was involved in this surreptitious activity. …But if you could get a DUI for being over the limit, they’d get more than a sugar bust…They get a saccharine citation for possession of pixie stick paraphernalia, and long stretch would no longer connote a reference to taffy….if you know what I mean.
The next morning, the littlest mermaid was up at 7:30 and we had the best early morning day before Christmas Eve cuddle time EVER. I turned the Christmas tree lights on and some other lights around the room that Pam had decorated so beautifully. We just quietly enjoyed them together for a few minutes all snuggled with light blankets and warm thoughts. Tessa told me she would not stop wanting to cuddle with me for 84 years. She was very specific about that, but 84 was her number and it seemed perfectly fine to me, because I’d be with Jesus long before her commitment would end. It was a win-win for both of us.
The older two chippies came down around 10:00 and I fixed them pancakes and bacon. As Grandma, the chipmunks and me were seated at out breakfast table… we heard a big bang, and I felt a great weight on my knees and lap. This was unbelievable. Our heavy marble table had snapped off about a third of the way right where I was sitting. Here lay this heavy marble section on my lap. We all were gobsmacked. Pam quipped, “Well, we won’t be having Christmas Eve breakfast on this table tomorrow.” Bizarre, bizarre, bizarre. We have had this table for over 25 years, but I think the last time we moved it might have been it’s undoing. Well, I guess we get a new breakfast table for Christmas.
Next, each of the “petits enfants” took a bubble bath in our bathtub. They wanted to try out all the wonderful aromatic bath oil’s that grandma had let them smell last night.I was not privy to what followed because of course I was once again banished to my writing room. First, Pam had to beg Tessa to exit the bathtub. I could easily have heard her singing … “I shall not be moved… Though grandma asail me, I will not be moved.” She was splashing around like Esther Williams in a euphoric stupor. Finally she relented, and the big guns moved in. They got the jets blowing, the bubble bath flowing and the result was a mountainous height of bubbles the like of which neither Pam nor I had ever seen.
By the time everyone had their hair dried and clothes back on it was time for them to return home. I hate it when they have to leave. Sure we’re a little tired, but I still wish they could stay. They don’t want to go home either, but we get big long hugs before we wave goodbye to them as we stand in the driveway. “Peace out, girls. Got your eye on you (Got your eye on you came from what Tessa would always misspeak when they left. She woud say, “Got your eye on you”….and it stuck. Then the last phrase…”Be very careful” was a cue for me to run up and tickle each of them in the car, then get another ” I love you” and kiss from Sarah. It is a tradition for me to never let them leave without this little ceremony. They’ll remember…I’ll remember….because these moments are fleeting…fleeting….and I don’t ever want to forget.
”The story of life is quicker than the wink of an eye, the story of love is hello…goodbye…until we meet again” (Jimi Hendrix)