Can someone please explain to me why there comes a moment in most days when I think to myself, "I wish I could have one hour to myself," yet when I have an entire day off work, and Biscuit is out of town, I'm as bored as bored can be?
We met my parents Saturday and swapped out Biscuit. He's been splitting time between my parents and my brother and his family. I've heard that there has been playing in the treehouse, fishing, general horseplay and some four-wheeler riding (long after Biscuit should've been in bed!).
My Mama ran a tight ship when we were at home. We knew what we could and couldn't do. We knew our bedtime. And we knew that "sleeping in" meant no later than 9 a.m.
But when we were at Granny's, it was a whole other story.
Mama's parents lived about 5 1/2 hours away from us. During the summer, they would come up to our house for a weekend, then my brother and I would go back home with them. We would stay for two weeks, then our parents would drive down to pick us up.
We always had a lot of fun while we were down there. There were things we did year after year. Routines we created for our time there. Like every night after supper, we'd sit on the front porch watching the people and cars go by. There were some characters that frequented the store beside their house. We never knew their real names, but we gave them nicknames.
The seating on the front porch was a glider big enough for two people and several of what they call motel chairs (see photo below). Granny's chairs were mint green and white. They had a lattice pattern on the seat, so when you were wearing shorts, you'd stand up and have a waffle print on the back of your legs.
When I was a baby and I was fussy, my grandaddy would hold me on his chest and bounce me in one of those chairs. He called it "bumping me," and he would keep doing it until I was asleep. So during those summers, I would sit in those chairs and automatically start bouncing. It was almost like muscle memory. But I would get so, so sleepy that I would have to get up and walk around a little while.
We have many memories of sitting on that porch.
One summer night, it was about dusk dark, and we were talking about calling it a night. We watched this teenager ride his bike around the parking lot and then right into the front window of the store! Wham! We didn't know whether to laugh or call an ambulance. The boy was fine, so we figured it was okay to let out a giggle. Every summer after that, someone at some point while we were sitting on the porch would say, "Hey, do you remember that time that the boy rode his bike into the front of the store?"
There were also certain foods that we ate while we were there. Granny always made tea cakes for us. She put them in a cut-glass cookie jar on the kitchen counter. Their house had a back porch, too, complete with a swing. Because of where the sun rose and set, we used the back porch during the day and the front porch at night.
Anyway, my brother and I would sneak into the kitchen to get a tea cake (or two ... or three ...). I was older and taller (at that time ... now he's 9 inches taller than me!), so I would reach over and ease the lid off the cookie jar. And then we'd hear Granny on the back porch, "Get out of those tea cakes!" We never could figure out how she knew what we were doing. Of course, if you've ever tried to replace a glass lid on a glass container, you know exactly how she knew what we were up to!
I hope that Biscuit is building these kind of memories. And I hope that he enjoys being there enough to keep going back for years and years.
Earlier this week, Biscuit's conversations with me on the phone were 10 or fewer seconds. I'd get a quick report on what he did that day, what he had for at least one meal, then he'd say something like, "Mom, would it be okay if I got back to playing?"
I'd say, "Yes."
And he'd say, "Okay. I love you. Bye."
And that was that.
I called him this morning, and he seemed to be in a good mood. Then this evening, Mama called me. "I think somebody is a little homesick," she said.
My nephew texted me a picture saying that Biscuit had been carrying around one of my wedding pictures.
He wrote, "Your boy is missing u so much he has been staring at this picture."
Earlier in the week, I was a little sad that Biscuit wasn't missing me. Then when he did start to miss me, I was sad about that, too.
Monday evening, Jeff said, "You know that him not missing you means that he's independent and ..."
I cut him off. "I know, I know," I said, with a lot of attitude. "It means he's confident and independent, and he knows that we're coming back for him. Yadda, yadda, yadda. He could at least PRETEND to miss me."
Jeff laughed and said, "Just wait until we pick him up and he's stuck like glue to you for several hours."
I told Biscuit this morning that he needs to have all the fun he can today and tomorrow because I'm coming to get him Sunday.
"I'll do my best," Biscuit said.