You knew it was coming--the blog about the grandbabies. Here it is and with good reason. After spending a couple of days in Atlanta with Laura, Chad, Avery, Stuart and the Atlanta Braves, we have had Avery here at our house this week. I know Laura and Chad are suffering from withdrawal while she is with us; Stuart certainly will enjoy a little one-on-one time (although he recognized Avery's voice on speakerphone when we talked today, and he grinned.)
We semi-empty nesters have been without little ones for so long. After all, Ben will be twenty-one in about a month. Having Avery around has been one big case of deja vu. I know she looks like her daddy, but she is the spitting image of not-quite-two-year-old Laura in my favorite picture I've always kept framed in the living room. She hit the ground running here and hardly winds down--until naptime or bedtime--and then she's on a schedule that has actually worked: Every night she gets two books, a few songs and her prayers (during which she thanks God every night for "butter, syrup, waffles, and bagels.") She came with some of her own books, Counting Kisses and Llama Llama Red Pajama, but we've pulled out a few old favorites and she's under their spell.
If I don't get rid of my own books, you can be sure I kept the children's books. We actually have William Steig's original Shrek and far more Dr. Seuss books than one can imagine. This week I haven't found Go Dogs, Go or One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. I suspect they may still be where I hid them after being forced to read them again and again when our kids were little. I don't actually need them in front of me, since they are burned into my memory ("Do you like my hat? No, I do not! Good bye! Goodbye!"). This week we've pulled out a few Berenstain Bear books--Inside, Outside, Upside Down and He Bear, She Bear. We've also enjoyed the old Caldecott winner In the Forest. Avery most enjoys the books for which she can anticipate lines (such as Jake Baked the Cake.)
I realize that most of us didn't have the wealth of books growing up that our kids had or that we have now. My own book fetish perhaps gets out of hand, especially since I have nowhere to put them all, but what fun to be able to pull out an old favorite and share it with Avery. Best of all, I know that if I play my cards right, she'll get pleasure out of my books for years to come too.