So. Memorial Day Weekend. Seems like a long time ago now, doesn’t it? I’m still going to tell you about it, though.
On Friday night we headed home to southern Illinois. We of course took Henry and Eleanor to Carterville with us, but I came home feeling like I had enjoyed a nice child-free getaway for three days. With Henry and Eleanor preferring to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa, and Grandma and Grandpa preferring to spend time with Henry and Eleanor, Andy and I could pretty much come and go as we pleased. It was woooooooonderful. Saturday was spent lounging at our neighbors’ pool, reading in the sun and enjoying the first (and second) (and third) (and fourth) swim of the year. We took an impromptu trip to the movies to see Terminator, which was good but not as good as Star Trek. (And can I just take a second and tell you how awesome that last sentence is? After not being in a movie theatre since 2006, I have now seen enough movies in the past month that I can compare them.). We ate pizza at Quatro’s and replenished our yellow plastic Quatro’s cup supply that everyone from southern Illinois is required to have. Andy read two books, and I spent an afternoon visiting with my childhood friend, Tara.
My sister came home, too, and Julie and I spent Monday morning driving around town to see the storm damage, with a quick detour to the thrift store downtown, where I scored a purse and a SIU t-shirt that were free after Julie bought them for me. Even after a few weeks of clean-up the storm damage is still pretty overwhelming to see. My neighbors’ ring of tall pine trees surrounding their yard is now a row of stumps. Huge piles of brush are still stacked waiting be hauled away. It seemed like every house has damage, whether it’s a dented gutter or missing shingles or a tree through their house. The most heartbreaking thing for me was seeing the big beautiful tree down at the cemetery. That tree was a big reason we chose to bury Sam and Emilie where they are—they are directly in line with it and it always provided a comforting view. Now it’s just a pile of really, really huge logs, which totally sucks, for lack of a more eloquent way to phrase it.
But back to the lovefest between my kids and my parents. To Eleanor, it was as if Mommy and Daddy ceased to exist whenever Grandma was around. Eleanor is like a little curly-haired moon orbiting her grandma—she’d venture away from Grandma’s side for a few minutes, but then the grandma-love gravitational pull would rein her back in. Henry was content to lounge in the recliner with Grandpa, and both kids talked all weekend (and most of last week, too) about how Grandpa woke up from a nap and gave them kisses. Henry and Eleanor played with the new wiffleball bats Grandma had waiting for them, fed the fish, blew bubbles, dipped their toes in the pool then ran to Grandma to dry off their toes, sat at the window to watch the birds, and soaked up the attention of two people whose love for them almost eclipses Mommy and Daddy’s.