What a happy, serendipitous conjunction that today was Hooray for Kids Day, and I got to spend it with three of my grandchildren. My son and daughter-in-law both had to work today, and it just so happened that this was the only day that I did not have appointments. Another beautiful concurrence.
I love children and spending time with them. They have such fresh perspectives on the world and share so sincerely from their open hearts. I am truly blessed that my children and grandchildren all live nearby and I get to see them often.
Today Joey, Oliver, Aubrey and I played at their house, had lunch at Chick Fil A, toured my garden, watched the newest Ice Age movie at the theater and shopped at Toys R Us, before returning home in time to meet Megan.
These kids, who are 10, 8, and 7 (Aubrey and Oliver have birthdays yet this year so that they will then be 10, 9 and 8), were wonderful companions today. They were kind, smart, funny and intuitive. Their affection for each other was obvious and they treated one another with respect. This is a big deal because they are a blended family. It can be challenging to find ones place in a new family dynamic. And yet Joey was the big brother in all ways today, helping me with the other two, and helping Oliver and Aubrey. Oliver is definitely the go between, spending time with Joey and Aubrey, joining in their favorite activities, while also exploring his own interests. And Aubrey is the sister, compassionate and nurturing, seeking out guidance from the older boys while also being confident enough in herself to do her own thing.
Joey – I could see the teen lurking in the boy today. Joey has grown so much this year. He doesn’t wait for me to ask him for help. He anticipates the need and takes care of it, keeping toys picked up, caring for the animals and offering assistance. When we piled into the car to head to lunch, Joey ran ahead to open car doors, making entry easy and allowing the heat trapped within to escape before we entered. Conversations with this young man are thoughtful and interesting.
Oliver – It’s not easy being the younger brother, trying to figure out who you are apart from an older brother. Yet I see this boy discovering who he is. The kids had money they had saved to spend at the toy store today. I added to their stash. Joey had the most saved up, with Oliver and Aubrey having about the same amount. Oliver appeared before me with a wooden box he had purchased at a yard sale. He asked if I liked it. When I said yes, he offered to sell it to me…for $5. I love that he thought of a way to increase his spending money! He possesses a great entrepreneurial spirit. Of course I bought the box.
Aubrey – And I purchsed a craft that Aubrey had made, for the same amount. She saw an opportunity, and seized it. This girl was the first child awake this morning, giving us time for girl talk. She noted my haircut and that I’ve lost weight. After she inquired about my age, she quipped, “Wow Yaya, you looked really young for being so old!” Aubrey keeps me humble…and laughing. She is a keen observer of life and I appreciate her insights. At the beginning of the Ice Age movie she whispered that a father mastodon had issues letting go of his daughter as she prepared to marry. She nailed it. That was indeed a predominant theme that developed in the movie.
This was a special day. School is beginning soon and the grandkids will all be busy with studies and friends and extracurricular activities. I cherish these last lingering days of summer. I cherish these kids.