Notes from Jan

Sipping Tea and Setting Limits

August 21, 2016

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.

Tea time.

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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5 Comments

  • Reply susan August 21, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Brava!, Jan. I wish I could have been with you and the lace girls at tea.
    How brilliant to make a game out of limits. It will carry them far.

  • Reply Sue Andringa August 23, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Jan, this is awesome … a valuable lesson!

  • Reply wendy lane August 23, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    You must have such a plethora of emotions when seeing Chad reminds you of Jud… Praying the positive, joyFILLED ones greatly outweigh and out last the sad, heartbreaking ones. Nicholas reminds me of Steve in so many ways too – and it brings such joy to my heart.
    You are so wise! I think I would have caved and said “sure” when they asked if they could pay the difference, or even just payed it for them! But then that would have robbed them of such a beautiful life lesson and memory. Haha – great job Momo! I’m taking notes you know! 🙂

  • Reply Dale Lefever August 25, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Thanks Jan.

    Dale

  • Reply Nancy Sheys August 26, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Such good lessons and memories you are storing up for your granddaughters!!! You are a fantastic grandmother. What a blessing to see your husband reflected in your son. It’s God’s gift!

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