I’m somewhere in the U.S. with six grandkids, and I’ve shooed The Parents away for an out-of-town escape to recharge their batteries. Hint: It’s known as the Garden State and it’s clear on the other side of the world continent from my home in Oregon.
Our first evening — after dropping The Parents off at the airport — involved dinner on the back patio, fire-building, marshmallow-roasting and S’more-making.
And then The Littles wanted to earn buttons (this is where you do an extra chore and get a colorful button in your jar that can be redeemed for a prize once you’re accumulated ten): Taking dishes and food and trash back into the house; picking up the little green ‘helicopters’ that float down from the tree; emptying wheel barrel trash into garbage cans, taking garbage cans to the curb, my little helpers.
And later there was bedtime-story-reading and teeth-brushing and pajamas-putting-on. And then a breath of quiet for the grandma.
That was Day One. And this is Day Four. Father’s Day. Father’s Day without Hubby. But surrounded by rambunctious grandchildren and a place in a family that wants me here.
Hubby would have loved meeting his three Ugandan grandsons. He would’ve loved teasing them and, in short time, they would’ve recognized the twinkle in his eye and would’ve learned to tease back. Just as the American-born grandkids did.
Instead of counting all that is lost, all that will never be the same again, I am counting all that is priceless:
1. Sitting on the patio, writing in the shade of the large tree that drops helicopters, the sound of children’s squeals and laughter and the occasional squabble—they are kids, after all—as they run through the sprinkler on this hot day
2. On this day that we honor dads, the abundance of good men in my life, past and present — Hubby, my own son and SIL, my father and FIL, my two brothers and four BILs; eleven incredible blessings, right there
3. The freedom to move about the country to spend time with family
Daughter Summer and SIL Josh will be home late tonight. There is a collection of Father’s Day treasure arranged on the fireplace mantle. And there are six children eagerly awaiting their dad’s return; six children who will want to tell him — all at the same time — what has transpired in the past four days. And some will want to tattle on grandma, how she got lost on the way home from the airport, how she might have let them stay up a little later than normal. But they have no admissible evidence.
Counting all that is good in my life on this beautifully-warm Father’s Day somewhere in the Garden State.
What about you? How many blessings surround you this Father’s Day?
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