Jacob is telling Maddie, my oldest grandchild, some secret--from the way he looked at me, I know it had to do with me, but the picture is so cute I'll forgive him if he was saying, once again, "she's old."
Jordan invited a few friends over tonight for drinks and snacks on my porch to celebrate her birthday tomorrow--my St. Patrick's Day baby. But Jordan's small parties always turn large, and there were probably 25 here, including quite a few children who ran and played on the front lawn and had a high old time. Two episodes of beach balls going into the street--one meant David, Jordan's first-ever boyfriend and still so dear to us, walked over a block to get the ball that kept rolling and rolling. The second time, a ball that is apparently beloved by four-year-old Abby next door sailed down the street, crossed the street, jumped the curb and tumbled down the incline into the parking lot behind the school--I watched its path in awe because the ball seemed to have a life of its own, twisting and turning as it would. Abby and her mother drove to get it because Abby was distraught. I'm always glad to see Jordan's friends, most of whom are dear to me. Lacey decided I should not be on my feet (well, I said the doctor said that) so every time I sat down she was in front of me with a stool or chair for me to put my foot up. And when I tried to clean the kitchen, she yelled at me--she confessed that to Jordan. But she and Amy did yeoman's work cleaning up, and I have only a few things to attend to tomorrow. My heartfelt thanks to them.
Jamie and his family arrived long after I'd given up on them coming--traffic from Dallas was awful, as usual. But after most people had left, the grandchldren entertained us. Jacob is a great showman, and he did his hip hop moves for us--he's really pretty good. Then Edie did the splits and the yoga pose, crow, and Maddie demonstrated how seventh graders dance these days. Great hilarity.
The moment to treasure came at the end of the evening when Jamie dragged out the old box of family photos that's behind the chair in my room--some of the kids have gone through and taken their childhood pictures but not all. He delighted in going throiugh the pictures, exclaiming about this person and that place and remembering instances and toys and people from their childhood. It made me happy to realize once again what a good childhood they had and how fondly they remember it and the people and dogs involved--there were a lot of dogs. Jame was particularly interested in how old people were and, of course, in many pictures his father and I were younger than he is now by quite a bit. That astounded him. He saw pictures of his brother as a toddler with one foot in the commode, pictures of himself as a fifth grader (dig that hair!), pictures of his older sister at what he called "an unfortunate period of her life" (bad hair, bad glasses) and getting ready for her senior prom, and a picture of his baby sister crawling through the space left in a multi-paned swinging door after he kicked out one panel accidentally. All those memories--such good times. It occurs to me that today we don't save boxes of photos--they're all digital. I wonder how, forty years from now, the grandchildren will be able to go through them and say, "Remember? That was Aunt Jordan's birthday party on the porch!" And maybe Jacob will remember how he always told me I was old when I wasn't!
Anyone want leftover chili/cheese dip?