Recently it’s been lively at our normally quiet cottage. That’s because Linnea, Adam, Micah and SKYLAR have been here. Neighbors have told me, “We love hearing your granddaughter’s adorable voice.” That tells me the volume has been high enough to travel through our screens and into theirs. Actually, as I’ve been waking up each morning, Skylar’s enthusiastic life-commentary has moved out the open downstairs windows and into my bedroom windows above, making me smile before my head has left the pillow. Her parents would agree with my assessment that she is a cheerful, LOUD child!
But Skylar and co. get on an airplane tomorrow morning, and I’ll come home to a very quiet house with no Skylar in it. I could cry already.
Skylar’s ongoing dialogs (and monologs) captivate me: “Oh. Jack sneezed. God bless you, Jack. Daddy is so cute and cuddly. How are you, girlfriend? I like spaghetti sauce. There’s a boo-boo on my knee. We go to the beach with sand and waves and rocks and bubbles. Mommy loves me.”
This little chatterbox is not yet two years old but never runs out of words. Her lilting voice and sparkling conversation have kept us laughing and happy, and I can’t imagine how much I’ll miss her.
Today Louisa, Birgitta and I had the fun of caring for big-girl Skylar and her baby brother most of the day while her parents had a well-deserved day off. Since Skylar never walks but always runs, the first thing she did was take a header onto the hardwood floor, absorbing the blow with her nose. Despite the swelling and bluish color, she plowed through her day with merriment and unbounded enthusiasm. As we walked around the neighborhood together, she identified the houses where Jack’s doggie friends live, remembering what each looks like. When he threw himself down on a lawn for a roll, Skylar shouted, “Happy dance! Happy dance!” and followed his lead.
She entertained the toddlers in Sunday school, expounded on the joys of a McDonald’s Happy Meal, read me a book at nap time, swam at the beach, and struggled up the dunes “by myself” singing “Climb, climb up Sunshine Mountain.” When I’ve heard her say, “I want Midgeeeee!” it’s been better music than any ipod favorite. I wish she wasn’t going!
I know every grandparent feels this way about their grandchildren, which simply proves what a good idea God had in setting families up this way. Just when we parents are beginning to feel our age, here come children-relatives who move us into a second childhood and bring good old fashioned fun along with them.
Without Skylar here, I wouldn’t have made sand cakes and topped them with black chocolate chip stones, or filled jars with colored water. I wouldn’t have sung my favorite childhood choruses, or danced in circles while blowing bubbles through a wand. Picking up dog poop wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun without my inquisitive audience, and I wouldn’t have acted out the story of The Three Pigs. Skylar was the inspiration for all of it and much more.
As they leave, I’ll try to remember what Nate often said: “Receive what you’re given.” I was given 18 days with Skylar and her family, and that gift will be my warm fuzzy for a long time.
“Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away!” (Jeremiah 29:6)