Creating Stories


I had the best time on Sunday. First it was a glorious day, with a brilliant sunrise and lots of sunshine to go around. We went to church for an upbeat experience capped off the discovery that the Easter bunny had visited our house while we were gone. The Easter bunny was quite generous, bringing a coveted CD of a favorite kids band, a new book, two Disney princess nightgowns, a strand of “pearls” and, of course, the required chocolate bunny.

Then it was off to our daughter’s favorite destination in the whole world—Grandma and Papa’s House. With the five-year-old rocking out in her car seat to “Bananas,” we headed south of the Wisconsin border. We hadn’t even pulled in the drive before Papa was out the door saying “Happy Easter”, and our daughter just about bowled him over with a running hug. Grandma appeared at the door, and more hugs—hugs for everyone.

“Artichokes!” my daughter cried upon entering the kitchen, noticing the foil-wrapped packages on the stove-top long before she took note of any baskets of Easter chocolate or the table of cookies, crackers and other goodies spread before her.

We ate lunch and cleaned the kitchen, and when the second wave of family arrived and the decibel level increased dramatically; the food was brought back out, consumed with gusto, the kitchen cleaned again—with the help of everyone.

I have the most amazing in-laws. I have spent a lot of time at their house, and never have I felt like the in-law, I’ve always felt like part of the immediate family. I’m welcome to fall asleep and nap on the couch or pitch in and help clean up after the celebrations. I can tease and laugh and be teased. There are hugs in abundance. And I suspect the same is true for anyone who sets foot across the threshold of their house, whether the boyfriends of granddaughters brought to meet the family for the first or the fifth time or the neighbor down the street. Grandma and Papa’s is truly as special place, but this Easter Sunday it was especially special.

As we drove back home, my husband and I commented that we could have stayed for several more hours. I agreed. I would have loved to have started the coffee pot up and brought out the decks of cards for some Black Jack or Go Fish, playing for Reeses Eggs or Jolly Ranchers.

This was one of those days that we will talk about for a long time. Our daughter will remember playing “knock down Uncle Paul” and “knock down Daddy”; she will remember her Rapunzel doll with the glowing hair; she will remember eating artichokes topped with Pop Rocks. These kinds of memories are priceless, and these will be the stories she tells her children.

Tonight, after we read her bedtime stories, she said, “I want to write my own stories. Will you help me?”
I said yes. She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s already written chapter one.

©2012 Michele Arduengo. All rights reserved.

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