I had plans for today’s blog post. Right here in my blog drafts document it said, “Virtual Vacation,” and it was written in red letters. But something delightful happened on the 4th of July, something luminous with literacy magic.
My husband, son, and I went to a bar-b-que at my daughter’s house. In addition to our family, which include my absolutely adorable granddaughters, were my daughter’s sister-in-law and husband who came with their five delightful little girls.
As always when I visit her house, my granddaughter, Gracie, wanted me to come play in her “woom.” We were playing house, I was the mommy and she was the little girl, when two of her cousins caught up with us and joined in. We “ate” breakfast–plastic waffles and eggs, “went to the park” (in the living room), “went home” and “ate” lunch–plastic hot dogs and oranges, “went swimming”–the living room area rug served as the pool, “ate” invisible goldfish crackers, “ate” dinner–plastic cake with fruit on it (Grace was running out of healthy food that came in quantities of four), and went to bed.
Now Grace, nearly four, likes to go to bed with a flashlight, and she has several, so me and the girls curled up in her bed, each girl with her own flashlight, and one brought a book. She asked me to read it.
There we snuggled in the dark, me pointing to the part of the page where the words were printed and three little girls training their flashlights on them. We read Ten Naughty Little Monkeys by Suzanne Williams, then Up All Night Counting by Robin Koontz, who is regional adviser for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Oregon Chapter and a friend of mine.
My delightful audience giggled as I did the voice of the doctor in Ten Little Monkeys, and marveled as they lifted the flaps and jiggled the pages of Up All Night Counting, “made by YeaYea’s friend!”
Who cares if I missed the poker game in the backyard or the firing up of the fire pit for s’mores? The time I passed reading with those three little girls was magic, and I hope the memory will be one they savor as well as I.
“So what is the point of this story?” you may ask. It’s this. Go with the moment. Summer is the one time of year when life actually can slow down for a while, and you and your family can choose to be spontaneous. I can write about “Virtual Vacations” next week, next month, or next year. However, what my experience with Gracie and her cousins reminded me is that what’s happening between ourselves and those we love, now, can be the most enchanting experience of all.