Honey and Poppa live here. Well, not in person mind you. But in the larger-than-life reality that resides in the minds of children who love and adore their grandparents. Don and I are mere mortals. They see us in various states of reality and they get it 24/7. On the other, much greener side of the fence resides the worlds most wonderful people. Those mysterious ones who always have time for them, possess the ability to involve themselves in truly wonderful activities like lawn mowing (Matthew gets to ride the tractor!) and dishwashing (Laura loves to 'help' by playing in the water forever), all without ever requiring them to clean up after themselves or *gasp* actually help get dinner on the table. And honestly, we wouldn't have it any other way.
Except this week perhaps. I have perfected the reasons why we aren't going to Honey and Poppa's this evening and can quote it without thinking. I don't even have to think about what Laura will say next because we've danced this dance for three days now and I have it down pat. She'll start with "When are we goin' to Howney and Poppa's?" and occasionally add "I wan to see Nawnaw". Then I get to chime in with "We aren't going to Honey and Poppa's today" and can add "Nana isn't there anymore-She went home to her house" with obnoxious repetition previously unknown in our rather ordinary household. And periodically Jonathan and Matthew get in to the picture now and then, too. They know Nana isn't there any longer, but they enjoyed the constant access to their two favorite people and wonder when they'll get to see them again as well.
As I was putting Laura to bed last night, on time mind you, it seems some switch flipped in her mind. She seemed to get that we hadn't been to Honey and Poppa Wonderland for several days, and she was headed to bed once again, so it obviously wasn't going to happen today either. You could almost see the gears in her mind flip through her options. Honey wasn't available, Poppa wasn't available, Nana had gone home to her house, obviously not anywhere near here, so what did she have left? DADDY! Where was Daddy? Why wasn't he here putting her to bed??? Slowly her head lifted and her eyes caught mine. "Mom, where's Daddy? Is he at worked becaused he loves us?" I smiled. Life was returning to normal for her. We were back to life as we know it. I was still not good enough on my own after 4:30 PM but I no longer needed to be compared to Honey and Poppa. I was back to being half of the Mommy and Daddy team that took care of her. "No Sweetpea. Daddy isn't at work because he loves us. He's at Marc's because he loves us, getting some groceries for Mommy."
With that assurance, we prayed and she settled down for bed. While it took several trips down the hall in the next hour or so, and a visit from Daddy when he got home for her normal goodnight kiss and another drink of milk from him before she settled down, I went to bed feeling like things were returning to normal once again. Tomorrow would be a more settled day without the 'Honey and Poppa visit' thrown in to the mix. It would be a normal Thursday. Curbside recycling would be first on the boys schedule. Laundry and game playing would fill mine, along with baking for Jarryd's graduation party thrown in for good measure. Laura would merrily go through her day playing Mommy to her babies and asking every once in awhile for someone to take her outside. Yes, perhaps life was returning to normal.
And then I realized that I missed all of the fun we'd had while Nana was here. I missed the 'pick up and go because family is important' thing. Yes, we were running out of clean laundry but it was fun to just take off for Honey and Poppa's knowing we'd have family time and enjoy it thoroughly. I suppose Laura felt much the same way. She missed everyone, too. But for now we have each other. And that is good enough for me. For a few more days, anyway.
I guess I should tell the kids we'll be seeing Honey and Poppa this weekend because they are going with us to Jarryd's party but I think I'll wait. I'd hate to have to start the whole "what day is it today and how many more days is it until I see them/let's sing the Seven Days of the Week song so early in the game... Yes, I'll wait. And I'll smile right along with them as the joy oozes from them when they find out Honey and Poppa are on their way. Yes, I'll be happy for them because they'll get to spend time with their two favorite people. But I'll also be smiling because I'll be happy to see them again, too! :)