Did he ask for help or did I volunteer to help? It could have gone either way, but I’m inclined to think that maybe I offered to help when he told me what he was doing. When my son called me at work yesterday morning, he asked: “What are you doing?” His question prompted my asking him the same question. He responded: “We’re moving.”
So why wasn’t I there to help? It was a question on the tip of my tongue. It may have been on the tip of his tongue as well. Whether I initiated the question or he did, it was a question that had merit. In short order, I found myself heading his way. What an exciting time for Craig and his family.
It occurred to me as I drove that this was the first time in Craig and Becky’s marriage that they were moving into what they considered permanent housing. Every other move had been orchestrated by the military and was time limited. I wondered what it felt like for them knowing this was a move shrouded with permanency? They built their home with the thought that it was like their marriage: “Til’ death do us part.” Every other place they had lived had an invisible “Temporary Sign” over the front door. This move had to feel very different from them.
Actually, when I arrived, I was very surprised at how much stuff they had already moved. I say, “they”, but it really was “Becky”. I don’t’ know how she did it. Obviously, she had recruited help from someone. Craig had been in Pennsylvania for the past two and a half weeks.
Craig and Becky have lived in many places over the years. Generally, they were always in close proximity to one coast or the other. Their many moves had always been carefully orchestrated by the military. Each move was prefaced with professional packers coming in to get everything ready for the move. Trust me, this was a very different move for them.
I guess the question they asked themselves was: “Why pack anything?” After all, they were only moving a little over a mile or two? They had nothing but time on their hands, why not do a little at a time? At surface value the questions were valid, but from my limited perception the answer they came up with was based on faulty thinking. First of all, the concept of “time on their hands” is a misnomer. All three of my grandchildren are playing ball. Do you have any idea at how intrusive that is to one’s schedule?
The long and short of my experience yesterday was one of gratitude. I was pleased to participate in the things that got moved yesterday. Craig genuinely was grateful for the help. Reportedly, “hired help” is on line for today. Consequently, I gave myself permission not to feel guilty when I headed homeward last night.
The overall highlight for me was looking down their long driveway just as my grandchildren got off the school bus yesterday afternoon. Obviously the seven year old saw me standing on the porch and immediately started running at full speed. He didn’t stop until he had both arms around me in a hug. His older sister and brother started running my direction as well. Nothing is more welcoming or more affirming than the sense of being loved and valued by grandchildren. I take none of it for granted. I know too many people my age that don’t have that kind of relationship.
Immediately, all three kids wanted me to see their rooms. Consequently, I got the “home show” from each of my grandchildren. They are absolutely delighted and amazed by having their own space. Gram called last night for a progress report. At the time I was standing in Jake’s room. He had placed his latest Lego creation at the foot of his bed in visible sight when one entered his room. He said, “Granddad, I need some paper to make a sign that says ‘Don’t Touch’. I laughingly told him he should just keep his bedroom door closed and tell anyone entering not to touch his creation.
Jake is an organizer. He walked me through the process of knowing what “goes where.” There is a method to his madness. If I didn’t know better, I’d say he was related to the General. William also has that same skill set. Jenna is a lot like granddad. I’d say she is best described as a “work in progress.” She is a loveable child with many talents, but obsessive compulsive is not one of them.
Listening to Jake talk to Gram on the phone put a smile on my face. He said: “Gram, If granddad stays for a sleep-over, he can sleep on the bottom bunk in my room. I will even let him use my second favorite blanket. He then described the blanket. Gram obviously asked what was his favorite blanket? He answered, “My Texas Aggie blanket.”
So today, I’ll be back in the office attempting to catch up on paperwork. It won’t be nearly as enjoyable as the time I shared with Craig and his family yesterday. It is really nice having them in close proximity. Now I find myself thinking: “I can hardly wait to see the finished product. When they get pictures hung where they want them instead of where I’d have probably suggested, it will look great.
All My Best!