SEVEN RED PLASTIC MONKEYS dangle, their arms linked.
Nearby, six children’s picture books, including one about trains, stack on the worn beige carpet.
Across the living room, a colorful woven basket, purchased for a buck at a garage sale, holds more books, a spiky purple ball, a bag of blocks, a doll with ratty hair and more.
All remind me of my sweet granddaughter, here for an overnight weekend stay. I can still feel the softness of Izzy’s curls, the curl of her tiny hand in mine, the touch of her sticky peanut butter and jelly fingers.
I can still hear her fits of giggles while she watched a toddler just months younger. I can hear her counting—up to six. I can hear her asking for Grandpa to play on the living room floor and later to run with her.
I can see, too, her long legs carrying her up and back down our backyard hill. I can see the outline of her little hands traced onto purple construction paper—wings for the butterfly I helped her craft for her mama. I can see her tossing her uncle’s teddy bears down the long stairway toward my office, the room where she sleeps when she stays.
I can’t taste how she tastes or smell what she smells. But I know Izzy loves strawberries and chocolate and milk by the cupfuls. She drinks from a green cup and eats from a Peter Rabbit plate and bowl at Grandpa and Grandma’s house. She has that certainty of routine and familiarity. And love.
This time with my now two-year-old granddaughter delights me. I want Izzy to understand just how much and how deeply I love her. I would read books to her and wipe her sticky fingers and catch falling teddy bears for her every day if I could.
TELL ME: If you’re a grandparent, what brings you joy in grandparenting? Or tell me what joyful memories you have of your grandparents.
© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling