Saturday, May 23, 2015

Saturday: last day at grandmas's

And again came the blue skies, the warm air, the early sound of Snowdrop playing in her crib.

Her gurgles grow more animated and I am guessing she isn't about to put herself back to sleep. I come down to be greeted, as always, with a radiant smile.


I change the diaper, re-swaddle her and cross my fingers.

I leave the window open, listening for her shouts, murmurs or cries and go outside, seeking out the flower of the day.  I'll show you ones that are just at the cusp of a full bloom: the gentle, affable Baptista (blue wild indigo) and, of course, an iris:




Indoors again. Snowdrop is still moving, dozing, articulating, eyes closed, open, closed. It's not even 9, but I decide to get our breakfast together now. Ever so quietly.

The morning meal would have been on the porch, even if I wasn't trying for the impossible -- keeping Ed quiet while the baby (I hope) dozes. It is that warm of a morning. I set the table, put out the fruits, honeys, flowers and listen. All quiet inside. Ed and I sit down to eat.


Not for long. Through the open window I hear her chatter. It's strong and lovely and insistent. She's not sleeping. She wants to be up.

(by Ed)

(by Ed)

As I sit there and she grins with utter joy (Ed: why is she so happy?), I think about how adaptable children are. As the stand-in caretaker, I try to replicate to the letter the rhythm and routine of Snowdrop's life at home. But the rhythms of the farmhouse are beginning to seep in. I can't really name the factors that gently swayed her in our direction: is it that the light comes in strong and loud here, begging all those inside to come out and enjoy the day? Is it that our energy is lower in the evening and so she starts to wind down along with us, far earlier than she would at home? For any number of reasons, she has slowly moved closer to a farmette life (and I'm sure, within a day will ease back to her habits at home).

I bathe her in the kitchen sink again. This time she knows the tub and understands that here, too, she can play.


After breakfast? Oh, you know. The sitting up (which she has grandly mastered... except when she topples!):


The romping and twisting and playing and laughing.




Too, we feed the cheepers. Oreo rewards us with many loud vocalizations. (Yes, grandma, at the farmette, a rooster crows!)


But the day begs for a bigger adventure. It's my last big fling with the little one! Oh sure, there are the daily encounters, but once or twice a year I get to really know her in this special way. She has no choice -- I am the recipient of her moods, her pouts, her laughter, her triumphs and mishaps. And every bit of it is, for me, thrilling. Somehow, we must finish grandly.

I tell Ed that perhaps an outing to the Olbricht Gardens might be lovely. He asks to come along and so the three of us set out to this sixteen acre treasure trove of plantings.

It's getting quite warm -- hot, in fact. I know Snowdrop prefers cooler air even as we're in the thick of a heat spell. Keeping her out of the sun isn't too hard -- the stroller has an awning and, too, there are plenty of shady trees in the gardens.


The last time I was here with Ed, I was disappointed. I felt more could be done in this showcase of perennial beds, bushes and trees. But this time, I am enthralled. It's Snowdrop's fault!

(by Ed)

This is wedding season and so a section of the garden is closed off for ceremonial purposes, but there's plenty left for us to see -- including the Thai pavilion which looks especially splendid and regal from the perspective of what I gather is the naturalizing bulb fields.


On a shady path, between birches and forget-me-nots and hostas, I take Snowdrop out (again? -- asks Ed, who thinks I should just let her sit back and chill...) to see if she is willing to stand up and take a step or two.

(by Ed)

And she is! As if overnight, her legs have gotten stronger and she can support herself without me having to take the weight of her increasingly tall frame.

There were many milestones for me in the four days that she was here. So many of them showed off her strength and determination that it seems fitting that I should end with the hug that I could share with her after this brief little "walk" in the gardens.

(by Ed)

In the evening the  deliriously happy parents come to pick her up and take her home.

After supper, Ed and I go out to weed the veggie patch. In pulling up one root after the next until it is too dark to see much of anything, I think back to my four days with my granddaughter. What was the biggest challenge? Keeping Ed quiet in the morning and, too, keeping her relaxed and content in the evening. The greatest joy? Oh, you know -- all of it. The package. The fullness of each day, each minute. The smiles.


  1. Sounds like it really has been warm over there these last few days. I didn't realize it was that warm. Over here, we've been just making the 50s and 60s during the day, and actually went below freezing last night. I think that's supposed to change for this next week though, with our having temps in the 70s.

    So glad the three of you had a lovely visit. Snowdrop obviously enjoyed herself thoroughly.

    1. warm, rain, warm, rain. that's been our pattern. mosquito weather!

    2. We haven't had nearly enough rain. Our grass is already getting brown and crispy, though there should be some rain showing up tonight.

  2. Well, you are having the time of your life! Happy for you - for all of you! S is a most beloved little girl.

    We're enjoying the good weather you're passing along. Today, our first baseball game of summer. We have the Columbus Clippers, farm team for the Cleveland Indians, and a terrific new stadium in a rockin' part of town. It's something that says to me "Summer is really here!" We may not go again until maybe one last game in the fall for the sake of summer-nostalgia, and speaking of that emotion...all those years, all those games with our three boys... :)

    All those cute clothes! What size is S wearing? I dont know what to buy right now. I'm with you in shunning princessy clothes and little sweetheart slogans. And I have noticed that boys' clothes invariably say something like "here comes trouble". Poor little tiny guy, to be labeled as such!

    Well, enjoy your day of total freedom. You'll miss her, but also, ahhh! And Ed can boom about at will.

    1. Snowdrop is, for the most part in 3-6 months. She is 4.5 months old and just a touch below the 50th percentile in weight, so it makes sense that she should wear clothes true to size. But she is tall and so when I buy a onesie, or something where length matters. I have to adjust. Which means -- 3-6 is too short and 6-12 is too big. Of course, one should buy "too big" over "too short" so I do that,

      Yes, there was a very brief Ahhhhh, but a very prolonged emptiness!

  3. Hard to guess who had a better time, kid or grownups.. but just you wait until next summer and she's going here and there, exploring on and off the paths!

    1. ...and she promises to be an especially active tot!


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