This Christmas, my newlywed daughter came to Virginia for a visit, and as a lovely bonus, she brought along her new husband (Levi) and her four-year-old stepson, “Ollie.”
Ollie is a darling little boy and while they were here, our house saw more activity and busy-ness than I think it’s ever seen before.
And I loved every minute of it.
When they pulled into our driveway at 2:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, Levi opened the back door of the Family Truxter and there was little Ollie, sitting patiently in his car seat. He caught a glimpse of me standing in the driveway and in the sweetest little voice, he exclaimed, “There’s Gwandma Wose!”
It brought tears to my eyes.
Cleaning up the house today has been tough, and I’ve felt myself tear up a few times. Under the couch, I found a handful of sea shells that we gathered during our walk by the seashore, and on a desk in the living room, I found the little stuffed dog that Auntie Crystal gave him. I put away the books “Pop” read to him and I discovered a toy left behind in the bathtub.
I can’t face the spare bedroom yet, where I tucked him into bed Monday night and read him several books.
There in the semi-dark room, between stories, he reached out and held my hand and said, “I love you, Grandma Rose.” I told him, “I love you more,” and he replied, “I love you more, too.”
I was falling asleep by the fifth book when he said (in a very serious voice), “I think you should go get into your own bed.”
The little family packed up their little car and returned to St. Louis Thursday and the house is so quiet that it is unnerving.
As my wise friend Janet LaMonica told me last month when my daughter got married, “Rosemary, years ago I learned, there is no such thing as ‘step-grandchildren.”
Janet was right.
It may take a few days before I’m ready to write about old houses again. Somehow, they just don’t seem as important right now.
And now it’s time to check out those airfares to St. Louis…
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