In June the days of summer always dangle as pearls in front of us. As tulips and daffodils give way to roses, we feel as if we have so much time ahead to enjoy the long, peaceful days of summer. Now, suddenly, it is mid-August -- we feel a panic of sorts; there is so much more we wanted to do, and the days are dwindling down.
This summer is a bittersweet one for me. In September my oldest granddaughter, Alivia, will begin kindergarten, and my everyday world of three precious little ones will be forever changed. I know I felt a similar tug to my heart each time one of my own children began school, but at least they still came home to me at the end of each day. Not so with Alivia -- her Daddy will be home to get her off the bus and hear the story of her day.
I wanted to make this summer special for the two of us. Luke and Emma's mom is home with them all summer, so for the most part, I have time alone with Alivia. We have kept to a peaceful routine; she arrives at 6:30 am, and we spend some time snuggling together in the chair, often reading the books she holds so dear. Then we enjoy breakfast together in front of the TV, while she watches Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. We water the garden together -- and the plants have required alot of watering this hot summer. Then, we are ready for whatever activity presents itself -- she took two weeks of morning swim lessons and a week of morning summer camp -- we have made trips to the library, shopping excursions, begun a postcard exchange program, and spent time with Luke.
To celebrate her fifth birthday, we went to a local tea room with Luke and a favorite cousin of mine. What a terrible disappointment that was. Alivia had been looking forward to it, but even though I had called ahead and ordered the "Children's Tea" and told them I was bringing two little ones, the wait was almost more than they could bear. They were so precious -- practicing their best manners -- but even the "Children's Tea" was not appropriate fare for children. This will be one of those memories we will all laugh about -- and I will forever carry in my heart the picture of the two of them dressed up and acting so grown up in such an uncomfortable situation.
I am thankful that I have been able to care for my grandchildren since they were infants. The bond I feel with them is enormous, and I treasure these days. Both Alivia and Luke are deep thinkers and our time together is filled with questions and conversation. Already, Emma is chattering away, and it won't be long before she and I are sharing these serious conversations, too. I have tried this summer to "pack in" as much quality time with Alivia as possible.
There are still things I want to do with her and things I want to tell her, and summer is waning. We are going to prepare a tea party for her Nanny, which she always enjoys. She wants to go to the playground with Luke and have ice cream at her favorite ice cream stand on the way home. A much-loved cousin has invited me to bring all three little ones out to swim in her pool. I told Alivia I would teach her how to make bread. The list goes on and on and time is becoming shorter and shorter.
Soon, I will be putting her on the bus one morning and her life will forever be changed -- she is growing up, and Grammy is having a difficult time letting go --