They'd been counting the days until they could come over to my house. I'd been counting too. Months had passed since I'd been well enough to watch my two grandchildren, 5 and 2. I'd finished my treatments and was finally stronger. We'd planned for a whole day together. Just the three of us. I didn't know who anticipated the time more. All we knew is that blissful day couldn't come quickly enough.
We created a play together. I filled a box with costumes, and each of the children picked out what they would wear and who'd they'd be. Lilly chose a pair of pink fairy wings outlined in silver glitter, a jeweled tutu and a tiara with lavender and white streamers that cascaded down each side of her head and blended with her hair. Jonathan chose a red felt cowboy hat and picked up a sword that he brandished with enthusiam. I wore a long blonde wig. I was named the "funny director" as both children giggled wildly when I donned the silly locks. Lilly took on the role of fairy and then princess. Jonathan became the cowboy pirate and sometimes just the cowboy. The children named the play, "The Runaway Princess." The material primarily consisted of Jonathan running after Lilly holding his hat with one hand and waggling the sword at her with his other. I yelled "action" and both children ran through the house, all of us laughing and tired out after about an hour. Even in our somewhat chaotic production, we felt the satisfaction and well-being that laughter and creativity can bring.
While I made lunch, the children colored a picture at the kitchen table, Lilly still in her wings and Jonathan's cowboy hat pushed back on his head. We talked some, but mostly we basked in the presence of one another.
After lunch it was time for rest. Jonathan said he was excited to take a nap in his Pac n' Play as he hadn't slept in it for a long time. He took off his cowboy hat and placed it back in the costume box, and grabbed his stuffed puppy and blanket. I pulled the blinds down to darken the room, and turned on his white noise machine. Lilly sang him a lullabye. As we tiptoed out of the room, Lilly and I whispered to Jonathan, "We love you." He sang out, "I love you." Jonathan turned on his side, clutched his puppy and settled in for sleep. Lilly and I latched the bedroom door and headed off for our quiet time.
We read library books, then a movie. We decided on Snow White. Lilly said she had seen it before and didn't like the bad stepmother, but felt like she could tolerate the scary parts if we watched it together. I pulled her onto my lap, feeling her warm palms on my arms. We soon fell under the trance of Snow White's charm and melodic voice. For the first time, I noticed her shoes--little beige pumps with two-inch heels. I commented, "I like Snow White's shoes." Lilly said, "Me, too, but I wonder how she can run so fast in the forest in those shoes. I think she really needs some tennis shoes."
I learn from my grandchildren. I hope to emulate their enthusiasm for play and creativity--their ability to live in the moment--their ability to rest, to embrace the reverent stillness of the day.