Gypsy's Travels

Thursday, July 30, 2009

When All is Quiet on the Homefront

Abs and I had a wonderful trip. It is rather like childbirth, you forget the bad parts and only remember the good parts. There were plenty of good parts to remember, but Abs does not take "change" well, so there were a few difficult times too. Gunner was supposed to be in Colorado by a certain date, but he waited until we returned before he left so he could visit with Abs. ABW stayed a few extra days to run a triathlon, rested, then drove straight through to Colorado with two little hearts. Abs stayed with me. We dangled the offer of an airplane ride in front of her, like a carrot in front of Goozeberry, as temptation to stay. She will fly out Saturday.

This will be Abs' first flight since she was about 3 years old, so it will all be new. I have been filling her head with information so the ride will, hopefully, be smooth for all concerned. It is nonstop and her family will be waiting. Knowing ABW's desire to always be on time, they will be waiting at the airport long before the expected flight arrives.

My time with Abs has not been dull by any means.
"Don't blog about me!" she says, but we do.
Life with Abs deserves to be shared. So I choose a few things to share. They brighten my day, in retrospect, and I hope they brighten yours, serve as a reminder of fleeting childhood and that people are more important than things....or what someone else thinks.

With her parent's permission, I took Abs for a haircut. She had chopped a hunk off front and center and it was beginning to grow out. She is rivaling her brother's cowlick right now. She had also chopped a hunk off center back, but it doesn't show when her hair is down.

Before haircut

After haircut
"Doesn't that shirt belong to Em?" I asked Abs when I first saw her wearing it.
"She gave it to me," Abs said.
"Well, that was nice of her," I said, knowing Em is not fond of sharing her clothes with Abs.
"Yes. I touched it and she said it now had cooties, so I got to keep it," Abs told me matter-of-factly, but with a touch of sadness.
Abs has really been busy these last 3 weeks with me. She looked positively angelic serving as an acolyte Sunday morning. She has read "The Last Olympian" 6 times ( I offer new books, but she prefers to reread this one); painted plaster-of-paris dinosaurs, colored, and colored, and colored; pasted fabric on a sweatshirt for a project we are doing; strung beads, beads, and more beads; gone to 2 plays; gone to the park, played in the sprinklers ( mud and all); written letters using Egyptian hieroglyphics; built with Legos; played with cousins; etc., etc., etc. Ask her what she did and she will say "Nothing."

"This is a Drakon. It has hard scales and bright eyes, like spotlights. Most have no fire, but this one breathes fire so she can light campfires. She is several millennium older than dragons."

Abs plays quietly in the bath for as long as I will allow. That time has been getting shorter and shorter. The rules are:
  • Don't add water to the tub
  • Don't splash the water out of the tub
  • Don't water the plants
  • Leave the shampoo alone
Without strict supervision, she waters my tub-side plants to overflowing. When I asked why a giraffe planter was standing in an inch of water -
"I don't know how THAT happened!" she said with great surprise.

I shampoo her hair to conserve shampoo and water, but the tub was filled to the brim with bubbles and the shampoo bottle was empty -
"I didn't do anything," she said, "just swept my hands back and forth and all these bubbles appeared."

We are almost to the point of having water rationing here since we have had no rain for 60+ days and temperatures in the triple digits. Therefore, I request that Abs not add water to the tub. O.K., O.K., it is also because she tends to overflow it. Invariably, if I don't check on her often enough, I return to find a tub filled to the top with water, the tap "just trickling" in her eyes, "running" in my eyes, and Abs happily "surfing," and water everywhere.

Sleep? Abs lines up her 10-12 animals just so; snuggles down under 4-6 blankets, afghans, and quilts; says her prayers; then we call her mother. ABW talks to her for 1/2 hour, sings her a song; repeats the song as many times as Abs can commandeer; says goodnight and I turn out the lights.
"Turn the fan on; I'm hot!" she shouts from under her pile of blankets. Taking some of them off is not an option in her opinion.
Abs paddles in to get a drink of water....and again....and again...I am getting frustrated.....

Quiet reigns. I go back to check and find Abs reading. I take the bulb out of the lamp (I learned this from her mother). The overhead light is too high to reach easily so I make threats....
I return later to find her reading by the night light. I promise to remove it if she reads any more. Many people would be thrilled to have their children spend that much time reading. I used to read by the light of the moon

Last night I did not check again until I went to bed. All was quiet, I had left her snuggled and sleepy-eyed, and had congratulated myself on finally getting everything under control. I stayed up way too late and headed down the hall to go bed about midnight. The overhead light from Abs' room was shining brightly and I figured she had left it on after reading too long. I slipped in to turn out the light and take a last look at her angelic face in quiet repose. I discovered her sitting in her bed, fingers fairly flying as she twisted pipe cleaners into shapes "for my daddy." She had made a bunch of "large fish," a large "fish net", a small "fish net", and many small "fish (anchovies"). The "netting" was based on our visit with a Paiute elder we met on our trip, who was demonstrating the craft. It was midnight!

Abs is preparing for her trip to her new home in Colorado. I have warned ABW that, although I have washed all the clothes, and Abs has been wearing underwear all week, now she has none.
There is never a dull moment.

I will miss her, but right now it is very quiet and I need to see what new surprise she has in store for me.

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  1. What a treasure of experiences--Summer 2009--that Abs and her gandmother have stored in their memory. Truly God's gift in our mature years, grandchildren provide new wind for our sails! Thanks for sharing so candidly. ELG

  2. "Dont' blog about me." Ha! That is so cute. But she will be so glad you have recorded these precious moments.


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