Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rainy Interlude

I’ve been away on a little Father's Day weekend camping trip with Gem and my grandsons. After an absence of over a month the boys are static cling, full of secrets and kisses, hands and fingers entangled in my hair and gripping my neck, folding into me, owning me. M brings his face an inch from mine and places an open palm on each of my cheeks. "I love you, Nana", he declares earnestly. We stare at each other, eyes clownishly wide, lash-to-lash. Almost unbearable sweetness. Something deep and visceral, animal, takes root.

When the rain starts, Gem rigs up a large tarp and the boys move their elaborate game of monster trucks under it. Their clothes become soaked and caked with mud. They are in some private, blissed-out world of invention and play that absorbs them wholly. When bedtime is announced, they look at me puzzled. "But Nana, how did the time happen so quick?", asks D.

Yes, sweet grandson of mine, how does time happen so quickly?

On me they are etched, but more as a phantom limb as they grow up and away. Every day each is more himself, full of his own opinions and priorities, leaving me with an intense mix of joy, protectiveness, fear and pride.

Exhausted, yet sated. Three hours of sleep ... a sodden, rain-soaked travel trailer ... drying hiking boots by the campfire ... sticky s'mores and charred hotdogs ... 4 am smothered giggles. Awakening to more relentless rain. A mad dash to the truck, Gem and I each holding a sleep-warm little boy ... The scent of wet dog and damp earth and strong, black coffee. We sit in the warmth of the truck watching the greys patterning the wet morning. M entertains us with song. D covers his head and burrows deeply into his blanket, eyes closed.

Of course now that we are home, the weather is glorious!


  1. They'll always remember that wet weekend with their Nana. You're making wonderful memories, Jo.

  2. Often, it's difficult to quantify the love that exists between us and our children/grandchildren. You have managed it here, eloquently and sincerely. So glad you all had such a fun weekend, Jo.

  3. What a smashing post. And "how does time happen so quickly?" - a quotation to treasure.

  4. I am guessing the boys didn't mind the mud at all.

    I totally get your mixed bag of feelings about the little ones growing up.

    You are building the bonds now and one day they will be feeling the same things towards you.

  5. I don't have my own grandchildren yet, but I adore yours through your eyes. You are such a fine writer, Jo. Everything you say has life.

  6. Beautiful post--I agree with Alan on the "how does time happen so quickly" statement. How nice to have put up a tarp so they could keep playing!

  7. Wonderful post--so eloquently written.

    Have you noticed that it's the times when things go slightly awry that you remember years later? I'm betting that you'll always remember this rainy weekend.