Maybe it was the sadness in their hearts over an impending good-bye, but hours before my folks hoped a ferry, a van ride, two planes, and a car ride home to Florida my two youngest babes became ill. Sometimes sickness makes them so still & sweet, all cuddles together then sleep, sleep, sleep [until the click of a camera wakes one].
Maybe it was the sadness in his heart from saying good-bye to three sweet granddaughters, but only hours into home my dad landed back in the hospital for his heart. Tonight, we say prayers, wish on stars & cross our fingers he’ll be alright soon.
Olive loves to watch crows eat worms & ride in our wagon , all the while with whispers of bir, bir, bir & vroom, vroom, vroom.
It’s funny, really, when I pull my babe off my back or out of my sling & place her in ordinary kid items. So big, so big, so big I tell myself & feel another push to remain in the moment, in the present.
I’ve been trying to really notice our pets throughout the day, besides my usual behavior with only-evening loves because I’m a mama to three small humans.
Twelve years ago I named this kitty Princess Slinky. Our girls like our pets to have a Native American middle name [odd, I know] so her full name is Princess Slinky Chipawawa-Meowmeow.
Slinky loves to sit & watch the girls play, all the while still as Olive tries to gently touch each whisker’s tip.
Three years ago & new to this island Lucy May was eight months old. For Luke’s birthday he wanted a puppy, so we found a three month old black lab/great dane at mainland’s shelter. Tiller. Betty named her right away because her tail, Daddy, it goes back and forth just like your sailboat’s tiller! She’s huge. Her middle name is Scoocum, meaning big & strong. Rightly so. We love her chest’s good luck white star. Lucy likes to point out that her dog fur matches Slinky’s. She still sits in the same spot, see:
Tilly waits patiently for high chair scraps, rides to the dog park & ear rubs.
I’m not sure what our ladies would wear most of the time if it weren’t for a revolving set of hand-me-downs. Some items really jog the memory.
Big sister Betty worn these tennies on 113 year old Victorian fir floors and Whidbey Island’s beaches while throwing rocks to our late & great dog, Huck.
Sam, a tender soul & possibly an eighth generation Ohioian wore these tennies long after I met his early, zestful self in the NICU & before I held his tiny hand on a dream-state beach in Hawaii.
Alex, a sweet little boy I watched be born wore these shoes everywhere & at all times, possibly even onto kitchen table’s top when his mommy found him standing tall atop his [shocking] perch.
My second little lady, Lucy May, wore these tennies just months after we first moved to this island, just months & months, really, before they tied themselves onto baby Olive’s feet.
A funny extra tidbit? Those pink stripey socks belonged to the big sister of sweet Alex [who I watched be born].
All this writing in circles feels a bit like the constant exchange of hand-me-downs.
One day a week I like to walk Betty to classroom’s door. Instead of a slow stall of the minivan at curbside, behind minivan after minivan after minivan at school’s front, we park & playground play until the bell rings. It works out perfect that Lucy’s school starts fifteen minutes later. I may not have showered, I could be wearing what I slept in but I always have a coffee in my hand and baby Olive on my back/hip/front.
We play hopscotch, the girls giggle & chase & balance & wiggle in morning’s cold winter sea breeze. Lately, I can’t help but be astounded how much they look alike. Even in opposing personalities & mannerisms. Same chin, eye color, nose. Ahh, sisters. Love.
My parents visited during school’s midwinter break. It was perfect for impromptu walkabouts, pajama afternoons with books and dolls. Betty enjoyed crafting non-stop for them, filling suitcase pockets with paper cut-outs of pure love. Olive gives the best cuddles. She loved the extra tickles, kisses, hugs. She loved her play dates with Grammy and Grandpop.
Taking a tiny shopping cart to the grocery store & filling it with items she sees around our house’s shelves has been Lucy’s favorite thing to do for some time. She couldn’t wait to show off her skill to my mom & speed around isles. She swore she was wearing a real zebra fur hat, rabbit fur coat.
We miss Grammy and Grandpop already. Lucy summed it all up today best,
Why aren’t their rainbows here everyday? Why can’t planes talk to me when they fly over my head? Why do all my grandparents live so far away?
If I only always had the answers; if I only always had the magic to make it all possible.