Today presented an opportunity to get my granddaughter Aubrey and my sister’s granddaughter London together for an afternoon of playing. These two little girls don’t get to spend near as much time together as they would like. However, when schedules align, they enjoy every moment that they are given.
The majority of their play date took place at one of the girls’ favorite hang outs… Chuck E Cheese Pizza. Today they were joined by cousins Weston and Lola, who entered into the spirit of fun whole-heartedly…just keep that big mouse who lurks about away! This is a noisy, kid friendly restaurant. Linda, Nicole and I didn’t mind the rowdy atmosphere though. The kids had space to run and slide, ride rides and plug tokens into whirring, clanging machines.
Aubrey and London have been enjoying Chuck E Cheese since their toddler days, when Gigi and I had to boost them up the platforms, to the top of the playground enclosure. I watched today, with both amusement and tenderness, as the girls helped young Weston climb to the top, taking turns pulling on his arms from above and lifting from below. They made a great little team and Weston loved looking out over the restaurant from his vantage point. What better place to keep an eye out for that overgrown mouse roaming about!
Pretty little Lola, who will be a year old in late November, was bright eyed and interested in all the activity swirling about her. She and Gigi drove a car and she loved the bright green train ride that jostled her a bit too much after her bottle at lunch. She’s a good-natured, happy baby who smiles easily and already allows her curiosity to lead her.
After Nicole headed home with her two sleepy babies, the girls finished up their afternoon together at Gigi’s house. These BFF/cousins are at an age where they need very little supervision. Linda and I sit nearby, visiting and keeping an ear turned toward the girls. It’s amusing and revealing, listening to them engage. Their life experiences pop up to color their conversations and play. And maybe that’s not a bad way, in the midst of make-believe, to sort out their little lives.
We took time for a walk in the neighborhood. The girls carried plastic zip-lock bags for collecting treasures. I love that they fully expected to find such items. Into the baggies went interesting twigs and rocks, seeds, acorns and walnuts, and shiny bits of ribbon from some celebration. These children reminded me today that on our journeys, we find what we expect to find. I want to be a seeker of treasures as well.
London and Aubrey ended their afternoon of fun with a little ritual that has become a tradition for them…The Dance. Sometimes they dress up in costumes. Today they donned leotards. And then they danced their little hearts out for their Yaya and Gigi. We enjoyed their performance and laughed at their antics this afternoon, as they let their little wild and creative spirits peep through. It was good fun. And more than that, it allowed them to move, their bodies and their energies. Rather than clinging sadly to each other, wondering when they will get together next, they instead parted company on a high and hilarious note. Wise beyond years, these two. Old souls who love and enjoy each other. I learn so much from them.