Yesterday brought s’mores and croquet. Of course none of us knew how to play the mallet based game – Ivy wanted to spin them like batons – so Granny gave us instructions and rules. This lead us to another debate – whether Granny could be trusted? After-all she plays to win at all costs. And she has been known to cheat at cards (or at least suspected – she is impossible to convict). But in the end our debating became the whines of sore losers, as Granny destroyed the competition.
All of this – from the debate to the game to the fire – was right. We had gathered together to reach into the past. Last year my grandpa passed away and for a moment we wanted to celebrate him. Not just to remember and recall, but to relive with him. And the evening outdoors was something Grandpa loved. A game to win, if only to beat his wife (he did not care about winning in general, but beating Granny – that was special). Chatting around the fire with family. Sipping coffee. The crisp, cool night. Everything was right.
My mom is good at putting these moments together. She has lost both her parents and on the anniversary always celebrates. She goes to Mass for Grandma and flies wooden planes for Gramps (which should be on fire if the story is to be relived!). This last winter, with us at the house, she taught the girls to dance with the Irish music playing in the background (and little Ivy was good – her legs made fast, snapping kicks – granted she also fell over a lot).
So, for Grandpa – my dad’s dad, she created a moment to reflect him. And it was good. Not just to recall, but relive the moments we had together. The evening came to a close and we chomped on sticky s’mores – Phoebe pulled her’s apart to eat just the chocolate. Then Ivy looked around at the group. She asked, “Are all these people my family?” Megan told her yes and Ivy beamed.