Saturday, September 08, 2012

even better than kittens

So there we were on our vacation in the beautiful North Carolina mountains and just when we think our trip can't get any better, we had a wonderful, incredibly unexpected surprise.

On Day 2 of our trip, my mom and Jim drove up from South Carolina to visit us.  This was the first time we'd seen them since we were in SC last November, adopting Louie because between my work schedule, the children's school schedule - and the fact that my mom and Jim head to Florida every winter for five months - we haven't been able to connect as much as I'd like.  In addition, Jim hasn't been doing very well and since my mother recently called in Hospice, they don't travel much anymore. 

When they arrived, the children who had no idea they were coming, went insane. Apparently, Charlie was driving up to the lodge and when the kids saw my mother get out of her car, they flew off their seat belts and nearly climbed out the windows.  


We love our Noni and Jimbo so, so much.  


It never fails that something really special happens when grandparents are near. 


They'll break away with just you and play Old Maid on the front steps. 


(Remember Mom's car accident? Note the back bumper...)


They'll patiently listen as you read and help you sound out all the BIG words. 


And without you even realizing it, they'll help you practice your spelling in the most fun way possible.


They'll cheer you on as you go horseback riding (I'm not getting near those things!) and will happily watch your little brother so that both Mom AND Dad can ride with the "big" kids. 

They'll be waiting for you when you come back from your ride and cheer loudly and say, "Oh my goodness! Look at these children! They are only SEVEN years old and they are riding huge horses! WOW! Those are MY amazing trips!!"

(And I'll whisper, "Shh! They're supposed to be eight to ride alone!)


They'll go for hikes with you in the woods and tell you stories about when the youngest (me) was a little girl and we hiked to the top of Mt. LeConte and enroute, we encountered a black bear and Noni thought for sure it was going to eat us both.  It didn't. We survived.  But it was very close. Or so it seemed at the time when the bear was 50 feet away from us and we were on a steep, narrow trail in a snowstorm with no where to run. 


Grandparents love to have one-on-one time. So when they decide it's time to head back home a few hours before everyone else, they ask if they can take one of you along with them.

I've got my bag! And my backpack! And my toys! And a snack for us ALL to share!! 


That feeling that you have in your heart, which is a lot like Christmas morning...


Will be tucked away in your memory and stay with you for a lifetime whenever you think back to your childhood and remember your grandparents.

Edited to add: My mom and Jim just celebrated their three-year wedding anniversary and I completely forgot, until Mom reminded me.  I'd like to take a quick moment to say how proud I am of the two of them for tying the knot and for the dedication that they have for each other.  They are blessed and lucky to have one another .... and we are blessed and lucky to have them.  

Happy Anniversary Mom & Jim!!