Day 3: Nana arrives

Nana arrived on her airplane this morning, and she’s here for a week.

When I woke up this morning, Boy was dressed, he’d made his bed, and he was reading. I made breakfast and coffee and opened shades and windows and fed the dog and did all the little things I do first thing in the morning while Boy made the rest of the beds. That, and taking the dog to the back yard to play for a bit, are his morning jobs. Girl puts away the clean silverware. They ate and got dressed and brushed their teeth and then drew pictures for their Nana. Nana, arriving with her big purple suitcase that always has presents in it, layered in with the beautiful Nana nighties and clothes and good smelling soaps and pretty dangly Nana earrings.

Nana arrives with her big purple suitcase.

Mid-morning they both piled into the van with Papa to collect her, while I rushed around (finally, finally unhindered by everyone being underfoot) to clean the house as much as I could in the time I had. It just feels nicer to sit around in a living room when the carpet is vacuumed and the clutter is put away.

Before long the van pulled back in to the driveway, followed by a tumult of hugging and making coffee and toast and, following the unzipping of the big purple suitcase, the opening of Lego sets and Playmobile character packs, the happy victorious sounds of kids with new stuff, the rifling through catalogs, Lego, American Girl, that my kids call ‘magazines’ and then the beginning of assembly. God help us if we try to stand in the way of assembly; everything must be put together right now. Boy does not need help but ask him to eat lunch or get ready for his violin lesson at your peril.  Girl needs but does not want help with tiny plastic braids and torso and arms and shoes that all need to go together just so to make a beautiful Playmobile character from…India, maybe? All while the dog tears around like a maniac unable to remember that she must sit in order to receive pets from visitors. Ultimately we get the toys put together, the dog settled, and and two cups of coffee into poor Nana, who’s been awake since 3am.

When we get back from violin (more about violin another day) Nana asks if we can go to the store to get snacks. There aren’t any snacks in the house, and she wants to buy us some. This is because we are in emergency budget mode (more on that another day, too, but it probably isn’t unfamiliar to anyone getting by on one income so one parent can stay home).  Nana and I get back in the van and drive through our neighborhood the back way to Harris Teeter, chatting all the way, and then we stroll through the aisles eating samples and picking out cheese and crackers, bakery bread, chips, ginger snaps, tortilla chips, salsa, and queso, three kinds of ice cream. We spend $53 and it feels like a holiday.  All the things you could want to eat while you’re hanging out at your house for a week with your Nana, who you love so much.  Just so much.

The rest of the day is ballet and dinner (white beans and sausage with corn and kale, toast fried in sausage fat) and then I’m out the door with an umbrella, a lime, and a bottle of tonic water to see my neighbor. We’ve been planning to sit on her screened in back porch and share a gin & tonic since the beginning of summer, and tonight’s our night. I leave bedtime to Nana and Papa, returning two hours later to find everyone asleep; Girl’s with Nana, Boy’s with his Dad. I’m sure there’s a story there. I’ll hear about it tomorrow.

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