She wanted to come and visit, and spend some time with “Aunt Jill,” and I was touched, and delighted at the prospect.
We lived a state or two away from one another, and before this had been able to spend more time together as families…but not so much..of late.
Syd is 12…going on 25, and so it seemed quite natural to plan some adventurous activities during her visit. Like with a lot of things, when we first anticipate them, I thought perhaps I could encourage and mentor, and love her as being her Aunt, I wished to do.
Blessings and surprises come in all shapes and sizes, and I would have done well to have remembered that. As has happened before in my life, that those whom I seek to bless, generally flip my carefully crafted table full of intentions upside down, and my life receives the “surprise blessing.” This may be an odd way to phrase it, but I believe it to be chronically true.
One might think that I would have learned this…but I appear to still have a great deal to learn about grace, and how God gets great pleasure in His “surprise blessings.”
From the moment she came onto my scene we had fun. There was much that I could have been doing. I needed to keep purging, and packing up my house to move, but I chose to just let that go last weekend, and concentrate on what was way more important..people..neices..her.
When we first woke up in the morning; she had bunked with me, we just chatted, and I made me coffee, and her tea. We lounged at my “Nanny’s” old kitchen table in the kitchen, and just got reacquainted.
She shared about grade 7, and what her life was like. We talked about friends, sports, her family. She really likes volleyball, and was recounting on at least two occasions when she had accidentally saved a shot, and won the winning point for her team! I could relate…to the accidentally doing something…and having it turning out far better than I had expected.
We drank blueberry, yogurt smoothies , and headed out for a walk-a-bout the lake. She wanted to bring Tillie the beagle, and the day ahead was full of promise.
The sun shone brightly, and the water gently lapped upon the stones at the waters’ edge. The air was fragrant with blossoming plants, and the birds chirped their little hearts out.
There was no shortage of conversation, and I found her engaging chit chat , and telling of her likes and dislikes…to be so enchanting.
I made us an egg frittata when we returned, and she loved it…all except for the sweet peppers, which the doggies were only only to happy to take off her plate.
Being girls and having our day laying out in front of us, it would seem that the next natural step would be to do “mani’s” and “pedi’s.”
Being creatively linked, we went back and forth as to what color choices our fingers and toes required, but finally settled on our selections.
We had a blast…This was a special time of just being together…uninterrupted by a little brother who would not have wished to be where we were sitting!..ha.
We enjoyed lunch afterwards, then because “Dot” the beetlebug convertible was itching for a Spring Fling, we took the top down, and headed into town to …..of course..shop!
She said that she had never even been to “Marshalls,” which I thought to be a sacrilege, and a “bucket list item” not to be missed.
This girl can shop! Now, I can give anyone a run for their money hunting for bargains, but when she hit the make up department, lets just say, she took no prisoners! She oohed and aaahed at the bountiful selection, and could not believe the prices.. we laughed, and she educated me on all things make up. I could not believe at 51, how little I knew on this subject.
She had some things in mind for an “Easter outfit,” but since we couldn’t quite find it all there at said store…I know I was shocked too..we hit another store, and another…such good fun.
I asked her if she wanted to go up and visit Bianca’s grave, and she responded with a tentative ,”yes,” so she, Dot and I paid my girls’ resting spot a visit.
it was here as we set on the cool marble bench and gazed upon her headstone , then up towards Longs Peak, and the fluffy and billowing clouds surrounding her, that it began to hit me.
I was getting to have conversations with my neice that I had never had with my daughter. I was hearing a young lady’s thoughts..and hopes…and desires… This was beautifully bittersweet.
I so get how joy and sorrow go hand in hand. One grasps your fingers lightly, and gently, while the other claws at your hand, and clasps tightly, and doesn’t want to let go.
Why is it that sorrow wants you to stay in it too long? Joy is never pushy, never threatening, it just waits, like the perfect gentleman…always there, resting that you will return to it. So you do…not immediately…but meloncholy thoughts will crowd into my brain unexpectedly at times like this, and I just want to run and hide. But instead you choose….to move through… then venture forward….
Instead…we painted…we created. I had booked us an instructional painting class at a local spot, so off we flew in Dot, our faithful little car, hair blowing, and taking the cobwebs, and the sorrow away.
We learned a lot, and I slopped some paint on her elbow, we told funny stories, and laughed. What an elixir this time with Syd was.
We fell into bed that night, and I for one was deliciously exhausted.
Our next few days together were no less eventful. We swam with Natalie and Logan at the Rec Center, swinging like chimps off the rope into the warm water. We screamed, at least I did, as we flushed down the water slide, and shot out the end, like a cannon. The kids yelled,”Mum get outta the way, another kid is about to hit you!” Ya know…good times…
Syd would give me two make up tutorials, and apply my make up better than anyone ever had, all the time instructing me on why this was good for this, and that was good for that. I began to call her the “make up guru,” and asked if she could move in with me to do my make up?
After all, once I had realized, my face had been walking around basically naked, I was somewhat appalled.
Her tutorial was exceedingly informative, and she said she had learned much on good ole “U tube.” How on earth had we survived without this brilliant teacher?
She asked me after carefully and with great intent applying my make up, if I could remember how to do this make up application for myself?
I responded with a definite,” Um…no..probably not.”
Her eyes popped out, and though she didn’t say what she was thinking her “Aunt Jill!,” really said it all. So cute….
She loves to act, and had earned a spot in a play where she had to have a “British accent,” so that’s all it took for me to respond accordingly.
I used my best Irish, Scottish, English accent, mixed with some occasional Vietnamese, since we had been to the Nail Place the day before, and the girls there had this accent. Also the latter, mixed it up, and brought in a unique flavor to our expanding dialect. I guess you could say that the continents collided.
I quite possibly drove her a little nuts with this, but I cracked myself up…and it added “joy to the journey.”
It was such an uplifting time spent with her, and such a welcome break from other “to do’s” that was crowding up my head.
At the end of the weekend on Saturday I was spent…exhausted…Who knew almost teenage girls had so much energy? Our relationship deepened, and As I lay on my couch, with the heating pad on my back, I let my eyes close, and I thanked God for his rich blessings in bringing my neice to visit…. she was just what I needed….