Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)

Life in the Pedestrian Lane: The kids came back

I miss having kids around to do an egg coloring day

Tomorrow is Easter! We’ve sprung ahead an hour and the icicles have melted, as have the snow berms, if a little slower. And it’s Easter!

A month ago we didn’t think spring would ever get here but we’ve passed the 50-50 point going up for daylight hours and even feel a little warmth in the air on days the sun shines, which are happening a little more frequently now that it is officially spring.

We just came off a week with our kids in mid-March; when it was still winter. All the kids and their spouses. Plus the great-grandson who was on spring break and a couple of the granddaughters who live locally dropping in and out over the week. We don’t often see them all together, and it was a fun, if tiring, and noisy, week.

And they knew they were home. If someone wanted peanut butter, they knew where it was. Coffee pot’s empty. You better make coffee. Going to the pool? Grab a towel. Need a nap? The living room floor is open if the couch is occupied. At least I didn’t find any empty pickle jars replaced in the fridge, or toilet paper rolls sitting atop the empty holder. Maybe they learned something all those years ago.

The Real Barbara Walters just rolled with it. She’s been in the family 46 years, more if you count the courtship, so she knows most of the secrets and all of the downfalls. She is pretty well aware of how it goes when the group gets together. The Favorite Son-in-Law not so much.

His siblings were many years older than him, so he essentially grew up as an only child and until this winter has not lived close enough to us that everyone could bombard him at once. Sibling dynamics completely befuddles him. He hangs for awhile, but then needs to go for a ride. He always comes back.

Our local daughter-in-law was in and out. She has been around long enough that she knows how it is, and if it gets overwhelming she goes home. Returns with food, usually. Always there if we need her, but knows when to call it a day for her own sanity. She’s from a family of girls, completely different dynamic than brothers.

We played some cribbage, went ice fishing, watched some cooking shows, took the great grandson out to a movie and swimming, and introduced him to a cousin he didn’t know. We ate whenever, except for two planned, all-hands-on deck evening meals. The only “comfort” food they wanted was fried bologna sandwiches on white bread. And they went to the grocery store for the ingredients.

Daughter paid us the greatest compliment of all, simply in passing during one of the more robust days: “This is just like being at grandma Elsie’s (my mother) when everyone was there.” Everyone being three generations. Spanning easily 65 or 70 years with little kids outnumbering the adults and a couple of ‘strays’ at the dinner table.

I always thought the same of the family get togethers at Mom’s. I would often hark back to the gatherings at HER mom’s when I was a kid. Easter being one of the occasions for celebration. Those were the days when most of the family was close by, so we had cousins, aunt and uncles, grandparents and friends who’d drop in to visit because everyone was “home.”

I lived, as a child, where Easter was usually semi-warm. Spring, back then was flowers, green grass, and pleasant weather. Easter eggs hidden in clumps of daffodils or crocuses instead of snow banks. We usually dyed eggs a few days before, starting out trying to make the prettiest one, but ending the session with an egg or two dropped in all the dye cups to see who could get the ickiest color. They mostly turned out a putrid shade of brown, or sometimes green, depending on who hogged which colors the longest, until mom said “Enough!”.

And my kids did the same. I miss having kids around to do an egg coloring day. I know I could go to the library or the Senior Center to dye eggs, or at least watch the kids, but I’m sure they’d frown on dipping the last egg in all the colors just to see how yucky it can be.

They left on a Sunday morning after an hour of checking for phone chargers, socks, library books, and Lego pieces. When I checked the fridge later they only left three half-full bottles of different kinds of juice, two jalapeno peppers, and half a loaf of white bread.

As he got in the car, Great-grandson waved and yelled, “See you in August.” And you know, I can’t wait!

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