My parents, Nana and Grandpa George, arrived yesterday afternoon from their home in Alabama.
Somehow it worked in perfect cosmic synchronicity that the flight they were on got in with just enough time for me to pick them up, grab the bags they checked, run to the van with them trailing behind, and hightail it to the Montessori school Xideka attends for the Thanksgiving feast they were having. The kids, teachers, and some parents made the food; and when we dashed into the school, all the 50-odd children in the school were seated neatly around a low, winding strand of tables before a semi-traditional Thanksgiving spread. The director of the school gave aallll the kids the opportunity to say one thing for which they were thankful before they began the meal (she’s a braver soul than I…). Xi said she was thankful, “that I have a family.” After the meal, Xi took Nana and Grandpa around the three main rooms of the school, and to the classroom where she spends most of her time each day. She showed them some of her works, and beamed proudly as they oohed and aahed in flawless grandparent fashion.
But we didn’t stop there. No. Even though they got up at 2:30 in the morning to drive the hour-long trip to the nearest airport, and flew thousands of miles to get here, they were with us now, and we all had one more stop. We went from the school, dropped off the luggage at Gus (you know, the house where we live…), and headed to the Good Food Store (best name for a grocery ever). We scoured the aisles, and dallied in play, while talking about meal ingredients. Nana was in charge of the official shopping list to which she kept adding and immediately crossing off items as we filled the cart. Make that a cart and a half… Of this I am sure: we will be well-fed (but hopefully not over-fed) for the holiday weekend.
But we didn’t stop there. Nope. Already, Nana and Grandpa George were being entertained, and involved in kid discussions, and presentations, and even a pretend or two (perhaps without knowing it…). Already, they’d endured epic physical travel, whirlwind school feasting and touring, abundant holiday grocery collecting. But once home, there was the tour of Gus for which they were signed up — as part of their travel package, of course, and being 1st time guests of the New Gus Grandparent Accommodations (“Ing-g-gah” [NGGA], for short). They got to see the fully-accoutred kid rooms, Grandpa even climbed part way up the ladder and peered into the kid loft. They got to see the (newly hung) family art collection, and the cool storage spaces Gus has tucked away in every corner. They also finally got to see all the rugs and lamps and bed spreads and towels that Nana took us all to pick out before we moved back into the house this past January. The grandparents talked about the solidity of the construction, the wisdom of our design and decor choices, the aesthetic appeal of the wood and the wall colors. And they oohed and aahed in appropriate grandparent fashion.
Then while Natalie made an amazing dinner, Nana read a fistful of stories, Grandpa chatted with us big kids, and all of us were included in a couple of pretends (whether we all knew it or not…), as well as, the opening of a gift. Grandpa George answered a knock at the door at one point and returned with a box bearing familiar amazon.com packaging and addressed to me. Xi was anxious to open it, but kept having to wait through various delays, like Echo needing a bathroom break, etc., etc.. Xi was magically able to wait with supreme patience, even though her Grandpa was encouraging her to just start opening the outside package… It was becoming apparent that he knew something we didn’t. After the “various (aforementioned) delays”, Echo returned and the opening commenced immediately. Inside was an amazing CD set of music that George Harrison had produced of Ravi Shankar’s music, some with Harrison himself in the band. It came with a lovely book with photos that looked like Harrison had been photoshopped into an Indian movie from the 70’s, and bits of history of Shankar and Harrison’s relationship and the music born from it, with a forward by Philip Glass. Grandpa George had sent it to us, and arrived synchronically, both to be here when we got it, and to be the man to receive it from the shipping guy at the front door… We all oohed and aahed in cosmically- and historically-appreciative fashion.
This Thanksgiving seems to be picking up momentum at a delicious pace. Today we get our Bella. And then our idyllic holiday will kick into even fuller operation (seriously, no puns intended). But we won’t stop there. No…
I hope you enjoy your holiday, friends (at least, you American ones who have this holiday…).
But everyone: be well.