Angela is an editor at Write on Edge, a creative writing community, and a contributing writer at Just.Be.Enough., a site built to help find personal empowerment. She blogs at Tread Softly where she expresses her passion for writing and captures the humor and beauty that weave together with the ordinary moments in our lives to create something extraordinary. She also reviews books and waxes philosophically about balancing life between stilettos and running shoes. You can also find her hanging out on the playgrounds of Twitter and Facebook and dipping her toes into Google+.
My ears tingle first – a hint of petulance creeping into her sweet voice. I see his eyes gleam with mischief the moment before his hand reaches out to bop her on the head, a glancing blow meant to annoy rather than hurt.
Her wail rings through the house as I separate them, settling him in a chair for a brief time-out, stroking her hair in an effort to soothe her feelings. She relaxes into my chest for a moment, sky-blue eyes twinkling as she requests an additional TV show.
The request is routine, as is the answering “no,” yet her reaction makes my ears bleed – tears and screams and a dramatic face plant into the couch cushions. He slides off his time-out perch to come over and join her protest.
I sigh, knowing I don’t have a cure for their present-day ailment.
My parents live nearby, every couple of months the kids visit for the day and night. I smother them with kisses when I return the next morning. We gather together their clothes and special blankets and Twilight Turtles and loveys and venture home, where my sweethearts begin to slide into the only part of Grandma and Grandpa sleepovers I don’t like:
The Grandma Hangover.
Much like that hot college guy acting as a bartender, DJ, and all-around bringer-of-debauchery, Grandma provides cuddles and ice cream and endless attention and new little trinkets until the kids are basking in Kid Utopia.
There’s no way Home can compete with Kid Utopia, not with its TV and snack restrictions and laundry baskets overflowing with clothes to be folded.
So I grit my teeth against the whining and gather all my patience into the spot at the back of my head that’s starting to ache.
I breathe and close my eyes, and picture the excitement with which Abbey and Dylan talk about their grandparents. I picture the unconditional love they receive at my childhood home, and I remember what makes the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren so important.
Grandparents see the magic and the sparkle in all of the moments found in childhood. Their Grandma and Grandpa Goggles look past the bickering and short tempers and see the wonder at a caterpillar crawling on the grass or the perfect way babies grow from fitting in the crook of your arm to be preschoolers snuggled in your lap.
My headache subsides, and I gather my no-longer-babies to me and try to remember that they only want me to see them shine.
At least until the snack-time whining begins.