Pulled part way into the driveway to pick up the Grands and their friend, JoJo. A small bulldozer maneuvered dirt and rocks, blocking my climb up the driveway. Chad and machine operator hard at work, building retaining walls, setting granite steps, working with dirt baked by sun and drought. Watching Chad work, reminded me of his Dad. No task too daunting for Jud, nor his son.
My thoughts flew away with the sight of giggling angels dressed in white, skittering through the dirt piles on clouds of reddish-brown dust.
Poco led the way, squealing, “Momo, notice anything similar?” Noticed her use of similar, then said, “Yes. You are all wearing white.”
Not to be overlooked for their efforts, “Yes, All white but also, all lace. We all have on lacy white dresses to go for tea.”
Maggie emerged last from the dirt cloud, looking regal, long blond hair styled into a chignon, befitting a prima ballerina. All her doing.
The three lacy ladies sipped and chatted, each, ever so careful with fragile china cups and sugar tongs. All practicing manners easily forgotten by most of us at home, while I savored more than food.
Back in the car we headed to Crackerjacks, a store reminiscent of an old Five and Dime store, my first employer in Georgia. Once inside, each girl was given the same amount to spend. They scurried like mice after cheese. Five year old Poco, lacking math skills, checked prices with me to keep within the limit. She decided early and stuck by her decisions, exchanging shopping for bugging the older two(age 9) with rubber spiders, snakes and such.
For over an hour I enjoyed a grandmother’s privilege, “Take your time, girls. No need to hurry.” The older two huddled, adding, subtracting, asking only once, “If we go over the limit, can we pay you the difference after we get home?”
“No. You get to experience the fun and challenge of staying within the limit.”
No fussing, arguing, whining or bargaining. Maggie and JoJo negotiated with themselves to see what they could live without to keep within the parameters.
Once in line to pay, each uttered the unexpected, “We love limits!”
The astonished clerk’s eyebrows scooted up her forehead, then relaxed and shared a smile with me as three freshly schooled in math and decision making, bounced out the door clutching their limits, while I paid the bill.
Butterfly nets break, toys get lost, broken or forgotten, lip gloss and paints used up, gum chewed ’til flavorless but hopefully, one day, when there’s far more at stake, they’ll remember a day that was more about life than lace, more about good decisions than goods. A day when they squealed intuitive truth, “We love limits!”
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