Here it is the third week of August and I feel as though summer barely got started and now it’s almost over. I was sipping a cup of coffee, cleaning up some files on my laptop, when I noticed the date. I had no idea the days had gone so fast. Well, I guess I knew they had passed on some level, but the thought that each passing day was bringing me closer to the dreaded winter time, just wasn’t in my circle of awareness.
I can’t figure out how so much time has passed, and I don’t have much to show for it. It was that thought which brought me here to my blog page. My last entry was the first week of June, but it doesn’t seem that long ago. It just goes to show what happens when you spend a lot of time with your grandchildren.
My grandson, Nikolai, is a regular “Grammy’s Boy.” When I go to visit my daughter’s family, I usually stay for a few days. They don’t live more than 35 minutes from my house, but I really hate driving on certain roads that have bridges, so that leaves out me venturing very far from home. I have to work up the courage to take my life into my own hands, which is what I do every time I head to my daughter’s house.
I was visiting in April and my intended three day stay turned into a week long visit. Every time I made ready to leave, Nikolai would beg me to stay just a little longer. Finally, I couldn’t put it off anymore. I needed to get home. Watching his cute, 7 year old face crumple at the idea of me going, I reminded him that summer was just a few short weeks away. In fact, I informed him, he could come and visit me at my house.
“Can I stay all weekend?” he asked tearfully.
“You can stay as long as you want,” I promised him.
This brought a bevy of smiles and the question of whether he could stay a whole week. After assuring him he was allowed to stay however long he wished, so long as it was alright with his mother, I was finally in my car and headed for home.
I didn’t realize what I was letting myself in for. Once it was established that Nikolai was coming to visit for a week at the end of school, his sisters and brother put in their requests. I was fine with the idea because I really like their company. However, I wasn’t thinking about all their silly little habits that can drive a sane person mad.
Ryder, the oldest at almost twelve, has always been a girly-girl. She is constantly primping and into my makeup, cologne and jewelry. Not that I mind, for the most part. But she can experiment in ways that really shouldn’t be attempted…like the time she decided to shave her eyebrows because plucking them hurts. She ended up with half an eyebrow over one of her eyes.
Aurora is the second in the lineup, and only 10 months younger than her sister. She’s a true blonde, forever doing ditzy things that she can’t explain her reasons for. It’s always something that seemed like a good idea at the time…like when she used to get herself up in the middle of the night and get dressed for school. She’d then go to bed, completely dressed, sneakers and all. The idea was to be able to sleep later in the morning. When she was busted on that, she started wearing her school clothes beneath her pajamas until she realized that it wasn’t very comfortable and so she didn’t get much sleep at all.
Noah’s the third child and suffers from ADHD. He’s absolutely wonderful if he’s alone, but Heaven help everyone if he’s got a partner in crime, especially Aurora. I discovered that it’s very necessary to keep a close eye on Noah whenever he gets the cleaning bug, which can be often. For a boy, he takes a lot of delight in dusting, and scrubbing, and especially rearranging items. It never fails. After he leaves my house, I spend weeks looking for common items like salt, pancake syrup, hair brushes, etc. He puts things away in places I’d never think to look.
Nikolai is the quiet one. He is perfectly content to spend every waking hour drawing, and he’s very good at it for a young man of seven years. His favorite character is Mario, with the rest of the Mario characters coming in a close second. Whenever he’s in the house, I’ve got to hide my favorite pens and a little computer paper because he will use up every ink pen and every piece of paper in the house. He’ll also leave his artwork scattered on every tabletop, every seat, as well as most of the open floor space.
The week following the end of school found Nikolai and his sister, Ryder, settled in at my house for a week long visit. Ryder, not liking to be away from her baby brother for long, managed to grab an invite from her brother, to share his week. Of my daughter’s four children, Ryder is the oldest, while Nikolai is the youngest. The two of them get along very well and are able to keep each other entertained.
That week marked the beginning of record highs and my air conditioning was having a difficult time keeping the temperatures liveable. The days were filled with movies, games, and even helping me to move some items to my storage, but eventually the novelty was wearing off. News reports were recommending that folks stay inside as much as possible due to the extremely high temperatures, so that didn’t help with entertaining the kiddies.
My boyfriend has sung in a band for most of his adult life. After taking the kids to watch one of their practices, I settled down to editing some of the songs for use in making videos. That was when I got the idea to use Ryder and Nikolai for some of the footage. It turned out to be a great idea for a novel way to entertain them, as well as solving some lack of footage problems I ran into.
Nikolai’s and Ryder’s visit was immediately followed by a week long visit by Aurora and Noah, followed by another TWO week visit by Nikolai on his own. Now as summer winds down, I find that it’s my turn, and I “ain’t too proud to beg” for a little time of my own.